Learning the art to disagree with your boss without insulting or disrespecting him or her is an important skill that can play a crucial role in you landing the promotion or raise you desperately desire. It is usually a catch-22 situation because you can’t come out in the open and disagree with your boss’s idea but also you can’t be the one who did not inform your boss that he is about to make a fool of himself. Treading this line is extremely difficult but if you can understand when to and when not to agree to disagree it will really help you win the trust of your boss.
Learn to pick your battles
First of all you should know when you can stand your ground, is it something that is worth taking a risk or will it have an impact on you? If not, then let it pass especially if you are sure that the boss is not making a fool out of himself.
Second thing to distinguish is the reason you are disagreeing with your boss because he might not have all the facts or it’s a matter of opinion. If the boss is a subject matter expert then you just can’t bluntly say I disagree but rather mask your disagreement by asking the boss his thinking behind his decision. It will portray that you are someone who is eager to learn and will provide you with the relevant information on which your boss has taken the decision, making your decision to confront your boss a much easier one.
Understanding the consequences
However, sometimes you just can’t let go things slip and are compelled to speak up especially when it’s something that can affect the performance of your product or service. Now the big question is how to go about it? You can do so by asking an open ended question by asking the boss would he be open to another approach or can you suggest another option. If the answer is no, it is safe to say he is not open to any suggestions. This is the time where you need to sum up the gravity of the situation, if it’s something that is crucial to the project you might have to stick your neck out and stand-up against your bosses opinion.
No matter whatever your approach understanding that disagreements are subject to human emotions should factor that side of the equation before disagreeing with your boss.