Leaders Need Decent Dissent

We were organizing an event and coordinating some tasks to be done. I asked one of my team members to do something that was seemingly necessary to address an urgent concern. Then she replied she’ll try but also expressed her dissent in a decent way. She expressed her disagreement in a respectful way. She somehow said no — yet in a courteous way.


While I was reading her reply, I said to myself, “She is right. Why did I not think of that?”

At that moment, I was reminded that when we are too close to the detail, we might be missing the bigger picture. As leaders, we need to have a balance of the big picture and the little details.

I sent her a message and said, “You are right. You have a point. Thanks for telling me that. Let me take care of it.”

If she did not express her dissent, I might have put myself into an undesirable situation.

I say, thank God for decent dissent. Thank God for leaders and team members who can express their disagreement to their leaders in a respectful way. Thank God for the gift of saying no, when necessary.

A decent dissent is a gift to leaders. Leaders need it. Leaders have to be open to it. Leaders are just humans who may miss to consider some needed criteria sometimes, who may miss to see situations objectively sometimes, and who may miss to think of important elements sometimes. Leaders have to accept differing views and statements.

On the contrary, when a leader kills the environment for a decent dissent, he is killing his own success rate. When a leader stops people from expressing their disagreement, he is setting himself up to failure. When a leader does not create an atmosphere that is safe to express varying views and opinions, he is missing out on the much needed gift of a decent dissent.

Therefore, if you are a leader, say yes to people who can say no to you. Say yes to an environment where people can say no.

If you are a team member, say yes to saying no to your leaders when necessary. (Learn how to express your dissent in a confident and courteous way. And do it.) This way, you are respecting and helping yourself and your leader. This way, you are setting yourself and your leader up for success. After all, that’s what you want. And that’s also what your leader wants.

Let me repeat, say yes to saying no. To leaders and team members: say yes to a decent dissent.
(Do you need to grow more as a leader or as a team member and as a person? I invite you to the first ever Growth Summit in Baguio on July 14 (Sunday) 8-5pm. You will learn how to grow in your career, public speaking, confidence and leadership. For details and registration, visit www.chrisdaoanis.com/growthsummit. You may also text 0945-761-6577 or email info@chrisdaoanis.com.)  


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