When Should You Tell the Boss That You Disagree?

Disagreeing with those more senior than you can be a nerve-racking experience, primarily because it is often difficult to predict how the senior leader will react. 

As a leader yourself, you have an obligation to express your honest views, even if this might upset “the boss.” Leadership demands you voice your concerns honestly, while recognizing the senior leader is likely fond of their own views and ideas.  

Those leaders who are effective at threading the needle of expressing truth to power always do so with a solution in mind. They think through the reasons they believe what they do and offer an alternative way to achieve the same objectives. 

By offering a path forward that satisfies the leader’s strategic intent, you make your disagreement more palatable and acceptable. No leader likes disagreement from those below them unless they offer a better idea. Without a solution-based mindset, disagreement becomes an annoyance that is usually met with stiff resistance. 

By learning to marry disagreement and solution, you will maintain your integrity as a leader and avoid the unpleasant reaction of those above you.