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Readers Respond: How Do You Handle it if the Boss is Wrong?

Responses: 14

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How would you handle it if you know your boss is 100% wrong about something? Read answers and share your answer to this typical interview question. Share Your Answer

Know your Bosses 'Type'

Take it from someone who stood up to two of their bosses and is now learning it the hard way....unemployed. Most bosses have egos. The worst thing you can do is make them feel or admit they are wrong. Are they a type 'A' personality or a boss that holds grudges? Do they verbally put people in their place? Big clue. Stay clear of trying to win the right/wrong battle. You might make your point today, but they won't forget and you will be on the short list out the door. Staying in your bosses favor and making them feel good about you being on their team is very important. Just don't do it by proving they were wrong. It is just not worth it. This is your career!!! Don't mess it up by trying to prove a point no matter what the topic is. If it is a matter of employee safety and they are not in agreement then find another job on your terms, not the bosses terms. You can always report the concern anonymously.
—Guest Learned The Hard Way

Check the Boss's Ego

This will tell you how insecure he/she actually is and in turn this will tell you how approachable they may be. Fear is their motivator and unless they are totally open minded most of them will see any form of correction as an attack. It is all nice to think that people will respond in the spirit of the moment but most won't.
—Guest bill

How Serious is It?

If it's a minor issue, I might raise a question aimed to make him rethink the situation. If it's major, I would want to make sure I had done my research and then spell out my position clearly. What people never want is to be corrected in front of others, so it would have to be in an email or memo if it couldn't be done in private.
—Guest Amanda

Get His Back

Let him know through a note without identifying your identity.This makes things easier for both of you.He knows that somebody is there whose got his back and knows the fact and will be careful. You'll notice the change.
—Guest razza shaikh

Ask Politely to Share an Idea

If the mistake is going to damage the name of the organization, I would get my facts straight and then ask if we could try my suggestion.
—Guest Lucy

Really?

Seriously? The best way to respond to a difficult manager when he's wrong is to countermand him, go against his explicit instructions, and then come back and smilingly rub his nose in the results of your insubordination? With all due respect, I find it hard to believe that this approach will please an existing supervisor and I know it wouldn't get you a job if I were thinking of hiring you!
—Guest Albert0

Don't be cocky

Given the fact that "the Boss" is in the position he/she is I would not jump to conclusions and assume they are wrong, there could be factors I am not aware of.
—TThornton51

If The Boss Is Wrong...

I Would Hope That The Boss Would Appreciate Me Presenting The Evidence To Just Say That He/She May Be Wrong, Though I Wouldn't Want To Be In Their Faces About It'
—Guest Paul Lockyer

If the boss is wrong

I'lli give him/her a suggestion that can change his/her mind about his/her decision, in a good way. nobody's perfect.
—Guest Hasel

Jamie Newcomb

Absolutely wrong approach. That's the kind of people we don't need.
—Guest Response to Newcomb

When the Boss is Wrong

It depends on the siutuation, I may not disclose the right thing to him if he/she is the type that uses any weapon on the staff either to slap or any form. But I will keep quiet till when the pressure is less I can now explain.The boss is not always right so i must to make him/her understand so that such conflict will not arise again.
—Guest maureen

It depends upon the situation

If his decision jeopardizes the safety and life of employees, then I'll immediately tell him he's wrong!
—Guest Romroxmal

If the Boss is Wrong

I'll make sure I get all the facts and present it to him/her. The Boss can't be right all the time and sometimes if they see you correct them, they'll think twice about letting you go because a Boss does'nt always want a yes person, someone must always be there to tell him no sometimes.
—Guest Deone Jacas

I'd Do What the Boss Wanted

The boss is the boss and I wouldn't want to take a chance on losing my job by not following his directions.
—Guest Jamie Newcomb

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How Do You Handle it if the Boss is Wrong?

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