What do you say when you disagree with someone who has more power than you do? How do you decide whether it’s worth speaking up? And if you do, what exactly should you say?
It’s a natural human reaction to shy away from disagreeing with a superior. The heart of the anxiety is that there will be negative implication. We immediately think, “He’s not going to like me,” “She’s going to think I’m a pain, Although “it’s just plain easier to agree,” It is not always the right thing to do.
It’s a natural human reaction to shy away from disagreeing with a superior.
Here’s a quick list of dos and don’ts on how to disagree with someone more powerful than you.
- Explain that you have a different opinion and ask if you can voice it.
- Restate the original point of view or decision so it’s clear you understand it.
- Speak slowly — talking in an even tone calms you and the other person down.
- Assume that disagreeing is going to damage your relationship or career — the consequences are often less dramatic than we think.
- State your opinions as facts; simply express your point of view and be open to dialogue.
- Use judgment words, such as “hasty,” “foolish,” or “wrong,” that might upset or incite your counterpart.