It’s IPL season and India is in the grip of cricket fever. Look at any news site or social media platform and it is replete with IPL team news. Cricket is a team game, to win everyone needs to work closely. Matches are won or lost on split-second decisions taken on the field. If you read any news on what happens in the dressing room, often we get to know about difference of opinion between the captain and the players or the coach. So what if you are a player and differ with the call the captain wants to take, what will you do?
Coming to our corporate lives, if you are discussing a new business idea with your boss, and he suggests a plan of action you know is bound to fail. Or it’s a client request and as always your boss commits an unreasonable timeline. You want to disagree, but he is pretty high up in the corporate ladder. Putting your point across to someone more powerful than you in any arena can often pose a challenge.
In most companies with a top-down structure, the boss's word is final and if you happen to have a different point of view, then you are in trouble. You’re left with no option but to become too assertive or extra-submissive, to avoid conflict. Consequently, you may either risk upsetting the dynamics with your boss or come across as an unenthusiastic person, reluctant to push boundaries. Both ways, it becomes a catch-22 situation. However, in the long run, you need to learn to master the art to agree to disagree without being rude.
Most of us are wired to avoid conflict, by agreeing with the boss, sometimes jeopardizing business interests in the process. Here is a quick list of what you should and what to avoid while agreeing to disagree with your senior:
Things to do:
Things to avoid:
While no one actively wants to disagree with their bosses, a constructive discussion is always in the benefit of the team and the business. So, next time when you differ from your boss, take a pause, present your views, but understand that the final decision may have many influencers. It could be that he is privy to information you may not be to and he is more experienced than you.
However, if you think you have a different perspective that should be considered, go ahead and raise your point. If done right, your point will not only reach your superiors, but also ensure that you build strong relationships at your workplace.