Your Boss Has an Idea They Think is Great. You Don’t Agree. What Do You Do?

You are meeting with someone in human resources and they ask you this question.  

This is an interesting question because the answer may be different in different cultures. 

I’m going to answer it with a US-centric approach; in other cultures, the answer may be, “I do whatever my boss tells me to do.”  

In the US, you have to texture it differently. We will start with, “I think that’s a really good idea.  In other organizations I’ve worked in, 1 of the things my management valued was the ability to critique ideas, pros and cons, and to see if we could poke holes in the idea into brainstorm situations.  Because, as good as it sounds, there invariably are pros and cons to each situation.  So, would you mind if we spent a little bit of time evaluating it from a 360 perspective and maybe bring a couple of other people into the process?”

“Nah!  I don’t want to bring someone else into this.”  

“I want to support you here making this idea be able to be executed effectively. Can I point out a couple of things that come to mind that I’m sure you thought about, but, just to be on the safe side, I want to make sure that you have considered?”

That is a smooth approach, where you’re not being confrontational, where you are representing yourself in a very supportive way. 

Again, I initially offered one cultural difference approach.  Another culturally different approach (and this can work with certain types of firms in the US that you are going to interview with, as well), but at the idea would be, “I don’t care for the idea.  Here is what I do like about it.  This is where I think it misses.  This is what I see what you could do with it, but, as presented now, this isn’t going to fly.”


Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020



Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

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