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Our natural bias is to start by imagining all the things that will go horribly wrong if we disagree with someone more powerful. Yes, your counterpart might be a little upset at first, but most likely you are not going to get fired or make a lifelong enemy.
Consider the risks of not speaking up first, then realistically weigh those against the potential consequences of taking action.
You may decide to hold off voicing your opinion if you want to gather your army first. People can contribute experience or information to your thinking — all the things that would make the disagreement stronger or more valid.
Also, delay the conversation if you’re in a meeting or other public space. Discussing the issue in private will make the powerful person feel less threatened.
Before you share your thoughts, think about what the powerful person cares about. You’re more likely to be heard if you can connect your disagreement to a “higher purpose.”
State it overtly then, contextualizing your statements so that you’re seen not as a disagreeable underling but as a colleague who’s trying to advance a shared goal.
It’s a smart way to give the powerful person “psychological safety” and control.
You can say: “ I have reasons to think that won’t work. I’d like to lay out my reasoning. Would that be OK?” This gives the person a choice, allowing them to verbally opt in.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
Mastering the art of considerate disagreement means expressing your beliefs without shutting down the discussion or angering the other side.
For this to happen, you have to listen mor...
“You are not your idea, and if you identify too closely with your ideas, you will take offense when they are challenged.”
With proper listening you’ll have a crystal clear understanding of the conversation and demonstrate to speakers that you’re invested in what they have to say.
Being a good listener is one of the most potent things you can do to increase your influence and likeability. It is also one of the top skills employers seek in potential and current employees, and it’s correlated with perceived ability to lead.