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Posted at: Mar 15, 2017, 12:36 AM; last updated: Mar 15, 2017, 12:36 AM (IST)

When the boss is not right

Disagreeing with your boss is not incorrect but has to be done very carefully as it may affect your future relations with both your boss and the organisation. Reflect your actions vigilantly
When the boss is not right

Poonamjot Sidhu

The conventional wisdom of, ‘The boss is always right’ has been known to us for a long time. It was considered a good attribute to agree with everything that the boss had to state. But the recent concepts of leadership state otherwise; they define an ideal follower to be somebody who has the ability and courage to state a difference of opinion. In addition to courage, more considerations are needed so as make such interventions positive and effective. These may be briefly discussed as:

Get your facts right: It is important to be 200 per cent sure about your facts before you raise any disagreement with your manager. Every claim that you state should be backed by quantitative proof. There is no room for lack of information, once you knock the boss’ door with a grievance about his decisions. 

Be on a positive and constructive pitch: When stating your difference of opinion, both your verbal and non-verbal communication should emit positive approach. Open arms and hands, soft tone of voice, frequent smile, and limited repetition are some cues that can be utilised.

Make it organisation centric: You should make your argument based on the organisation rather than making it personal. Employees work together to attain the organisational goal; keep it that way. Whatever dissonance you experience, reason it out as your loyalty to the organisation.

You may be wrong: Do not underestimate your boss completely, he may have a good reason for the decision you disagree with. If he proves his point, be gracious enough to accept your misjudgment of facts and request future guidance. This will enable the conversation to end on a positive note. 

Disagreeing with your boss is not incorrect but has to be done very carefully as it may affect your future relations with both your boss and the organisation. Reflect on it vigilantly before carrying it out. Always reflect before you react.

Get the right words:

Every superior or boss has a way of doing things, some make it all about data and some make it all about impressions. The way in which you state your opinion should be synonymous with the way your boss functions. You should frame and approach it in a way that your boss will most likely understand.

Speak as well as listen: Whenever you have such a conversation with your boss, try to make it two ways. An effective conversation is fifty per cent speaking and fifty per cent listening. Encourage your boss to give his opinion to your discord.

— The writer is assistant Professor, Chandigarh University

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