Management Success Tip #139: Lead with Authority And Compassion: Disagree With A Respectful “No”

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

You want happy, engaged employees – not just because it’s the right thing to strive for, but because it’s been demonstrated, time and again, that happy engaged employees lead to a thriving business.

You’ve noticed that people don’t like conflict. Heck, you don’t like conflict. Now you’re in a pickle when you feel you must disagree with something an employee did or said. On the one hand, you don’t want to be confrontive, on the other hand, you disagree.

So you waffle. You pretzel yourself trying to find “likeable” ways to disagree, which generally leads to confusion. The employee doesn’t know what you’re getting at, and by this time, you hardly do either.

Instead, follow Steve Roesler’s wise advice:

“People don’t have to be disagreeable in order to disagree. We often respect someone who tells us not only that (s)he sees things differently, but who then takes time to calmly explain “why.” Taking time to explain “why” is a sign of respect toward us.

When you mean “yes” say “yes.” When you mean “no” say “no.” And share your reasons.”

Sharing your reasons for either your “yes” or “no” grounds your leadership in both authority and compassion.

Your employees deserve no less.