How To Disagree Respectfully With Your Boss

How To Disagree Respectfully With Your Boss

How To Disagree Respectfully With Your Boss


In this post I will explain to you how to describe a disagreement that you had with your boss so that you can look good.

I’ll break down two examples to answer this question, and the biggest mistakes that cost people the job when they are talking about disagreeing with a boss.

So, stay tuned.

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If you do love reading, let’s get back to it…


First things first.


The growth of knowledge depends entirely upon disagreement. So, disagreements are healthy and necessary in the workplace. It’s how they are handled that actually make or break your career.

So, I want to share a quick story.

I used to work with a very high-level executive. She was a marketing director. She was absolutely great at what she did, however, if anyone disagreed with her, she would flip out at them.

She would flip out at her boss, who was the CEO.


And she would make whoever disagreed with her feel really bad about it, because she decided that her way was the only clear way to do something.

I watched her go from several different companies, and she couldn’t understand why she kept being let go.

The thing she wasn’t seeing was that even if her idea was the best idea, the way that she disagreed with her boss was making her seem arrogant, close-minded, and not open to anything else.

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So, there are some ways, some easier ways, to show your boss that your idea is worth a shot while not making your boss angry.


If you’ve been asked to take on a project that you don’t agree with, whether it’s objective or scope, you want to re-frame it to something like this.

So, if your boss says, “I need you to take on this project,” and you don’t agree with the best approach for it, you say something like this:

“I don’t think we should move ahead with this strategy, but I do have another idea that might work way better to help our customers”.

And then you want to explain the desired idea and result in a bit more detail. And then you say, “Are you open to another perspective?”

So, this works because, instead of simply disagreeing, you propose an alternative. This proves that you’re invested in the outcome and you’re committing to helping the team to get to that outcome.


Second example.


So, say your boss wants you to take on something that you just don’t have the time for. You disagree on your ability to do this project in the time that they’ve given.

If you generally don’t have the time, or the bandwidth, to take on another thing, this is how you can approach it.

“I hear how important this is. Can we take a look at my current task list together? Because there’s a lot in motion right now and I want everything to get done. I don’t want anything to fall through the cracks. So, I’ll either need to hit the pause button on these other projects or we’ll need to find someone to help with this one”.


This works, because the question, “Can we take a look at my tasks together?”shows that you are on top of things. It also reminds your boss that there are consequences to shifting your focus.

So, they can’t just keep piling things on you and expect you to just get it all done. They do need to sacrifice some things.

In conclusion


So, there you have it: How to respond when you disagree with your boss.

If you’d like more help with these types of interview questions, download my free situational interview guide click here: The Ultimate Situational Interview Q&A Guide


Nailing the interview questions is great! But There is a lot more to interviewing than just answering the questions.

In fact if all you do is answer the questions alone, you’ve already lost the interview.


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What you’ll get inside the guide:


  • Top-ten examples of stories that have proven to be impressive interview answers


  • The S.A.R.I. formula breakdown of how to answer these questions


  • The step-by-step of why it works


  • Fill-in-the-blank templates for each question so, you’ll be able to fill in the blanks and get going!


  • Now you’ll need to come up with your own stories! (You can steal the ones in the guide if they apply to you though too, I don’t mind)


If you are still getting stuck because you can’t think of your own stories…


I’ve included 25 questions that you can ask yourself to come up with your stories much quicker!


You’ll get all this in a beautifully designed workbook prepared specifically for you to prepare for your interviews.


By the end of working through this guide, you’ll be feeling confident and ready for any situational interview that comes your way!


Here is some feedback I’ve gotten from this guide, and I get new emails like this every day, and they NEVER get old!




By the end of working through the guide you’ll be totally ready for any situational interview question that gets thrown your way!

Click below and grab it now.

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Do you know one person who could benefit from the information in this post? If so, do your friend a favour and share this info with him/her.


And remember, the current system isn’t perfect, but you can outsmart it. I’m here to prove to you that you do have what it takes.


Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time. There’s someone outside and they might be looking at me a bit weird.

In Work & Life
I’ve got your back!

-Natalie Fisher