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Disagree with the boss without leaving scars

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in Dealing with Bosses,Office Management

There’s a right and wrong way to disagree with your manager. If you speak too bluntly (“You’re missing the point”), you may trigger defensiveness. Your great insight can fall upon deaf ears.

A better approach is to begin on a note of agreement. Affirm the boss’s views (“I know you value ideas to boost profitability”) and use that as a springboard to make your case. By adopting a genial, nonthreatening tone, you can contradict higher-ups without causing a backlash.

It also helps to tame your criticism in favor of tact. Use diplomatic language rather than hyperbole. Rather than declare, “That’s one of the most crazy ideas I’ve ever heard,” say, “I see your point. Here’s my take on it …”


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