5 toughest work conversations

'Your strategy is ridiculous'
toughest work conversations strategy

Ever think, "If I were in charge around here, we'd go in a whole different direction ..."? The safest option, of course, is to keep that opinion entirely to yourself.

But if your corporate culture encourages debate and consensus, respectfully disagreeing can pay off. Just make sure it's clear you have the best intentions for doing so, Grenny says.

"You want to establish up front that, far from trying to undermine your boss, you're offering a different viewpoint that might help," he says.

It's not so much what you say as how you say it, Grenny notes. So tread softly and ask lots of questions. Lay out facts supporting your view that a given plan won't work, then keep reassuring your boss that your goal is to help the whole team succeed.

Tactfully taking issue with the status quo shows you care, Grenny points out, so "the result of your openness could be a greater openness on your boss's part as well." Here's hoping.


  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated August 27 2013 09:43 AM ET
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