Ever felt like you were about to lose your cool at work because of a decision your boss was making?
That’s exactly what my client was experiencing, and she’d reached out just in case she ended up losing it (her cool and her job). I’d helped her with career transition in the past, but what she didn’t know when she called was that I would help her keep her job AND disagree with her boss too.
Every professional has a “line in the sand” that cannot be crossed. Many don’t know what to do when, inevitably, even the most well-intentioned boss crosses it. Whether it’s interrupting you when you have the floor in a meeting, constantly reversing positions on an urgent issue, or making a short-sighted decision that has inescapable future risks (only you can see) there will be times when you need to disagree with your boss.
Here’s why. In today’s modern organizations, professionals have more insight supporting business impact than at any other point in history. Flat, agile organizations rely on both hard data and experienced insight, because with the pace of today’s workplaces your boss no longer knows all the same things you do (like they would have in the 1960’s). Sure, your boss may have more years under their belt, but by mid-career most professionals are in roles where your organization relies on your professional acumen, bringing different perspectives and information to the table that are specific to your unique field of view in the organization. So, one of your unenviable tasks is to disagree with your boss as a way to strengthen organizational decision making on key issues.
Or, as my client put it, you need to “poke the bear”. Here’s how do that and live to see your career flourish.
My client was able to disagree with her boss and thrive. She invested in a tight and timely mini-coaching program (over just a few days) where she built the confidence and awareness she needed to get in front of her boss, and respectfully disagree with their position. She’ll tell you it was far from perfect, but because she maintained her conviction and open-ness to healthy debate, she communicated with respect, influencing a far better outcome then the original one her boss was heading towards.
And, she received a promotion out of it. Not immediately, but within the year she became the boss. Not an outcome she was expecting when she called me out of concern for her career’s future.
You don’t have to face all your career challenges alone; coaching can be strategic, timely and (best of all), pay for itself.
Carleen introduced me to options I didn't even know I had at work. This was key to me making strong choices that supported what I wanted in my career. It was easier than I thought once I started working with someone who had been there."