Covertly Point Out Flaws In Your Boss’s Argument By Asking For Details

Covertly Point Out Flaws In Your Boss’s Argument By Asking For Details

We’ve all been in that situation when a boss says something horribly incorrect, and no amount of argument on your part is going to work. If you can’t be blunt about it, Fast Company recommends asking that person to “tell you more”.

Picture: Martin Stabenfeldt/Flickr

The idea here is to give you a sense of power and to make your boss explain his or her decisions in a passive-aggressive way. Hopefully, by the end of it, you’ll have pointed out the flaws in your boss’s argument without him or her even realising it:

Regardless of the complexities of your bosses’ interior life, you’re still trying to make yourself heard without giving (or receiving) an earful. To that end, Crowe recommends a subtle trick for when you hit a point of contention: Simply repeat back to them what they said and ask “Is that what you meant?” (a standard trick ripped from couples’ therapy). If they agree to your recap, ask them to tell you more about it. When you repeat their perspective back to them, you give them a chance to expound and, crucially, to feel heard.

This simple little trick makes it so that your boss still feels like you’re listening, but it allows you to point out the flaws without being confrontational. It’s not going to work in every situation, but it’s a good first step to make sure your boss really knows what he or she is talking about. Head over to Fast Company for a few other subtle tricks for dealing with a boss you know is wrong.

Tricks From Couples’ Therapy For Dealing With A Boss Who’s Wrong [Fast Company]


  • While being diplomatic is always a smart move, most bosses still do not in any way appreciate being contradicted even if they do not admit it at the time because your argument against them is perfectly logical.

    I’ve always found the best way to deal with such things was to just do as they ask, then you look good when you’re there to pick up the pieces as their go to guy.

  • I agree michael. Nobody likes to be proven wrong, it is a fact of human nature. Unless somebody asks me for my evaluation, I assume that they are not wanting my opinion, just telling me what they have already decided. Actually, what I have found that if you greet something with reserved acceptance, people will see that and ask what you think, because they can see you are holding back (especially if you have a good reputation for being right in the past). At that point, they will value your feedback, because they have just expressed that they want it. Let them come to you.

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