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Do You Know How to Disagree with Your Manager and Still Maintain the Relationship?

When your manager says something that you disagree with, do you know how to professionally share your point of view? Although you should respectfully discuss your idea, you also want to maintain the relationship.

Disagreeing with your manager is important when it can positively impact the company, such as by increasing creativity, quality, or revenue. Or, you might learn something new that supports your manager’s idea. Either outcome provides valuable benefits.

Follow these guidelines to respectfully disagree with your manager and still maintain the relationship.

Consider Your Point of View

Think about the reasons why you disagree with your manager. Ensure your reasons have good intentions behind them, such as for the benefit of a project, group, or the company.

Verify Your Knowledge with Your Manager

Ensure your beliefs are correct before you talk with your manager. Keep in mind that your manager may have access to information that you do not.

Share Your Idea with Colleagues

Discuss the information you know and your idea with trusted colleagues. Determine whether they feel your idea is more effective than your manager’s idea.

Ask for constructive feedback about your point of view. Encourage your colleague to ask questions that your manager may have or to point out the parts of your idea that should be looked at again.

Prepare to Present Your Point of View

Gather data, spreadsheets, charts, and other evidence to support your point of view. Then, practice what you want to say when you meet with your manager. Approaching the topic in a businesslike manner encourages your manager to listen to your idea with an open mind.

Talk with Your Manager

Schedule a time to talk with your manager about your idea. Then, present your idea and supporting evidence as you practiced.

Remain open-minded as you discuss the issue with your manager. Perhaps they bring up something that you were unaware of or did not consider. Or, your manager might ask you to help implement your idea.

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