The Best Way to Deal With a Boss You Never Agree With


The Best Way to Deal With a Boss You Never Agree With

You know ita��s important to speak up at work. But, leta��s be real: You contribute with the hope that your ideas will be taken seriously.

Ita��s hard to feel that way if your boss is constantly shooting them down and taking things another direction. And, it only makes matters worse if ita��s not simply a difference of opinion, but you feel that theya��re straight-up wrong .

When youa��re at that point, all of the solutions can seem drastic: Do you just accept that youa��ll hate going to work every day? Do you have a sit down and hash out why you disagree with your boss every single time? Or do you quit, and look for a supervisor youa��ll see eye-to-eye with?

Before you get to one of those options, be honest with yourself:

Have you really thought about why you always disagree?

Because once you have an answer to that (beyond: a�?I like my idea morea�?), youa��ll have a better sense of what to do next:

1. Because Ita��s a Change

If youa��re in the a�?dona��t fix what isna��t brokena�? club, ita��s hard to get on board with someone changing things, apparently just for the sake of it. Ita��s frustrating that your new boss is implementing new strategies when things have been going just fine.

Build Credibility

If your main complaint is that her approach is different, your best course of action is to do it her way across all projects.

Wait! Before you click out in frustration, Ia��m not suggesting this as a forever change. Rather, ita��s to help you decide when to push backa�� and make a stronger argument when you do.

If you refuse to try any new approaches, your case is weak (and likely to be ignored), because you cana��t make a true comparison. Plus, you look more like someone whoa��s stuck in their ways than someone who cares about the very best way to do things.

Once youa��ve tried the new strategies, youa��ll be able to pick your battlesa��and point to specific reasons why you think a certain old process works better than the new one.

If you still think the new approaches suck and that your managera��s ignoring your feedback, youa��ll have less regrets when you start looking for a new role.

2. Because You Think Therea��s a Low Likelihood of Success

Unlike the person who resists new methods, youa��re at odds because you dona��t want to be set up to fail. You cana��t imagine a�?going along to get alonga�? when the plana��s one you foresee crashing and burning.

The a�?just try it the new waya�? approach can seem too risky if youa��re pretty sure ita��ll cost huge time or money, or lose you a client.

Get Clear on Your Goals

In a former job, my supervisor made sure that we knew our a�?role and goala�? for every assignment. Because the fact is: Organizations evolve and these things shift, so ita��s helpful to continually make sure youa��re aiming for the same target.

By inquiring about your role in the project and the goals youa��re supposed to hit, you may learn that your bossa�� main objective is innovating or piloting a new processa��and that hea��s OK with what youa��d assume is a a�?failure,a�? so long as youa��ve tried.

If, however, your boss has different goals, and you feel like youa��re being asked to do the impossiblea��not in a way that adds to your professional developmenta��but in a way makes you dread going to work, then dona��t feel like you have to talk yourself to staying.

While every job can include some degree of trusting your boss even when you disagree, you should never be made to feel like your job requires you to perform daily miracles.

3. Because Your Boss Is a Micromanager

Maybe you constantly disagree with your boss because he never gives you the freedom to actually do your job. Or, if you go out and take initiative, he wants to see the project totally redone based on his vision.

Be Honest With Yourself

In a recent article for Harvard Business Review, best-selling author Ron Carucci suggests that employees consider whether a boss is micromanagingthem because their work isna��t up to par.

In other words, your manager is more likely to breathe down your neck that your have to do things her exact way no matter if you disagreea��if your last few projects have been late, unfinished, or poorly executed.

If this rings true, then, truth talk: Youa��re stuck doing things her way for a bit. However, go out of your way not just to meet, but to exceed expectations, and show your full potential. Once youa��ve earned back her trust, you can start suggesting innovations and pushing back with why you’re ideas are better.

But if your worka��s been top-notch all along and she’s just a serial micromanager, tell her ita��s important to you to have the opportunity to take initiative and make more of a contribution. Then, listen to her response about whether or not youa��ll be able to do that in this role.

Finally, therea��s another reason why people disagree with their bossa��and thata��s when theya��re asked to do something they think is ethically questionable. This is not the time to a�?try it their way.a�? Schedule a meeting with HR (or your bossa�� boss if therea��s no formal HR department) and share that you disagree with what youa��re being asked to do. (Herea��s more on what to say ).

Of course, even when ita��s not at a�?whistle-blowera�? level, wea��re still talking about the manager you report to every day, and so youa��d like to have a positive working relationship. So, start by seeing if you cana��t try to learn more about where theya��re coming from. Because, while it won’t always be easy, if youa��re able to constructively work for someone with a completely different style, youa��ll learn a lot.

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