How to Disagree with Someone More Powerful: The Harvard Business Review GuideNovember 4, 2021
Just agreeing with your boss (or your boss’s boss) feels easier, but it’s often better to voice your disagreement. HBR’s Amy Gallo shows how.
00:00 Let’s say you disagree with someone more powerful than you. Should you say so?
00:30 Before deciding, do a risk assessment
01:39 When and where to voice disagreement
02:20 What to say …
04:00 … and how to say it
05:38 Ok, let’s recap!
How exactly do you voice dissent with your superior? And is it always worth it to do so? First, weigh the risk of pushback or a negative reaction from a boss against the risk of not speaking up. If you do decide to voice your opinion, there are some best practices to keep in mind. State your opinions as facts, avoiding using judgment words. In addition, ask permission to dissent instead of offering an unsolicited opinion. Keep in mind that the final decision is still in the hands of your boss, but being honest and respectful will show them that they have more options.
How to Disagree with Someone More Powerful than You
How to Disagree with Your Boss
Say No Without Burning Bridges
Produced by Amy Gallo, Scott LaPierre, and Jessica Gidal
Video by Andy Robinson
Edited by Jessica Gidal
Design by Riko Cribbs and Karen Player
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