Agreeing for the sake of being agreeable will get you nowhere in your career. If you have a different point of view, respectfully share it. Great ideas and strong strategies are born from such boldness. While it may be easier to agree, the best leaders are those who are unafraid to share their insights in the face of opposition.
Be an original, not a copy
Original thought is the foundation of innovation. If everyone around you is buying into an idea and you have a different opinion or something fresh to contribute, speak up. You are not doing yourself any favors by staying silent, especially if there is a strong rationale for why you are disagreeing. It could be, you have identified something others have failed to see—a blind spot sort of speak. At times like these, your input is invaluable to the bigger picture and others will appreciate you for it!
Packaging is everything
How you disagree will determine whether your input is met with engaging interest or immediate disregard. The mere fact that you are disagreeing means there is another position carrying weight with one or more people. Don’t just shoot their ideas down with your own ‘superior’ point of view if you want to be heard. Acknowledge what’s good about their perspective first, then tactfully segue into the value and benefits of your position. And, if your idea or input emerged from a group brainstorm or collective effort, give credit to the contributions which lead to it. Finally, be prepared to support your perspective with relevant information and details that will fortify your position.
Choose your battles
While challenging ideas or decisions can lead to smarter ones that yield stronger results, not every battle needs to be fought. If you do, you will be viewed as one who always disagrees and thinks their ideas are better—not the reputation you want to precede you! There are times when you need to stand your ground and fight hard for what you believe is best; and, there are other times when you need to pull back and gracefully give way to other opinions.
Next time you are faced with a situation at work that warrants a challenge, don’t be afraid to disagree. If you present your perspective thoughtfully and tactfully, you may just turn the tide in your favor!