One of the most difficult things you can ever do is disagree with a group, especially if they all agree on the necessity or outcome of a given topic. But sometimes, you are right, or at least have tangible, reasonable reasons to think as you do. Going against the grain isn’t always an easy task, but doing so can help you gain the self-respect you deserve, while also making headway on a point that’s important to you.
However, being able to disagree in the workplace, where conduct can often define our employment, can be a scary prospect. For almost everyone, falling in line is such an easier prospect to handle, and so most do. But what if you’ve noticed an issue that you can’t let go of? How can you move forward and demand appropriate treatment from there? It’s not always easy to know.
That’s why in this post, we’ll discuss how to dispute consensus in your workplace while limiting conflict and professional repercussions.
Make Your Reasoning Watertight & Back Up With Examples
When disagreeing with those in your office or workplace, it’s important to remember the people you’re arguing against aren’t stupid, they came to their beliefs through reason too. They may not be good reasons, but they’re reasons nonetheless. That’s why it’s important to be exact and specific about what is wrong with their ideas and make your reasoning watertight. Back up with examples. For example, if you believe the safety strategy in part of the workplace is unsatisfactory, you can refer to the top causes of accidents and show how their plan isn’t comprehensive enough in particular areas. Never disagree with vague notions, always with technical and specific examples. You become much harder to dismiss.
Ensure Your Point Is Simple, Easy To Understand & Firm
Generally, the easier to understand and communicate an idea is, the better it can be adopted and considered. Writing a ten-page report about an issue just doesn’t hit the same as a brief summary you can expand on later. You can also pick out the most convincing facts and statistics to guide your argument and to let it be criticized, only responding to criticisms that engage with the topic. You can then have the confidence to be firm and escalate the issue to a higher authority in your company if needed.
Consider Professional Consequences Or Adjustments
It’s unfortunate, but sometimes a disagreement can mean you’re no longer aligned with the values of a company, and it’s always important to be prepared for that outcome compared to them aligning with your viewpoint immediately. For example, would you really want to work for a company that doesn’t consider your safety with a comprehensive view, or who may be invalidating your contract simply because that’s the “done thing?” For example, if you’re working as a chef and have to repeatedly pay for ingredients from your own pocket with reimbursement later, you’re in your right to refuse to do this and demand that the correct procedure is carried out. If a company can’t abide by reason, then your time at a company may be short, and so sometimes it’s worth being prepared for that.
With this advice, you’re certain to dispute consensus in your workplace with confidence.