How To Bring Up Disagreements With Your Manager

There are going to come times when you have disagreements with your manager, and it’s really easy to become emotional about it. However, there’s a much better route to take than getting angry. “I’ve seen people have outbursts, I’ve seen people be passive aggressive in the office,” said career expert J.T. O’Donnell. “But that just doesn’t work. That’s not productive for anyone.” Having disagreements with your manager isn’t easy, but there are a few steps you can take in order to make the most out of the situation…


Set up a meeting your boss

According to O’Donnell, the first thing you need to remember in this situation is that you’re being paid to do a job. As an employee, you’re a service provider. You’re a business-of-one. And, if you’re not happy with your customer (your boss), you need to sit down and have a calm conversation about it.

Understand WHY you’re upset

Before you can have the conversation with your boss, though, you need to understand WHY you’re so upset. Why do you disagree? “It’s important that you take the emotion out of it and get to the facts,” said O’Donnell. So, you need to be able to map out why this particular decision or situation is holding you back from doing your job.

Determine your business case

There needs to be a business case for why you disagree with your boss. The only way you can articulate this when you meet with your boss is to prepare beforehand and go in with a clear head.

Present the facts to your boss

Once you’re ready, you want to sit down with your boss and say something like this: “This is difficult for me. I rarely disagree with you, but that’s why I felt like it was important to sit down and a concern I have with you…” This allows you to acknowledge that you’re usually on the same page and that this is a big deal for you to step up with this information. It’s going to make your boss pay attention.

Sit back and listen

Then, you’re going to make the business case for why you disagree, based on the facts you presented. The last step is to just sit back and listen. “Sometimes, there’s information that you’re not aware of,” said O’Donnell. “This is the chance for your boss to maybe fill you in or give you the insights you need.”

Be prepared for the worst

However, you also need to be prepared to listen to what you don’t want to hear. The fact is, the situation might not change, despite your efforts. Just know that you at least had the opportunity to plead your case, make your statement, and be heard.

Move on from the situation

From there, you have to figure out how you’re going to cope with this decision. Because your boss is the client. What he or she says goes. So, you have to find a way to work through the decision and move on from the situation. So, whenever you find yourself having disagreements with your manager, take these steps and figure out how you can move forward. Don’t let the emotion fester, but don’t let it take over and let you make bad career decisions.

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