When, and How, to Push Back

18 07 2016

“I never questioned the integrity of an umpire.  Their eyesight, yes.”  ~ Leo Durocher

There are times in your life when you have to stand up to, and question someone in a position of authority.  When younger, it’s a parent that you say “No” to.  In adolescence, it’s fighting for the right to do something that your parents aren’t ready to admit that you are ready for.  As you get older, anyone in a relationship is going to have the “first fight”.  After 21 years of marriage, I can say that I’ve learned to talk it out, and never go to bed angry.  As you evolve as a human, the tone of these disagreements HOPEFULLY becomes more civil, well-reasoned, and fact-based.

Leaders, keep this in mind when you inevitably have to “manage up”.  That’s when you have to sit down with your own leader, and tell them that they are wrong.  This might come because they asked you to do something without really understanding the details of what you do.  It might come as a result of a difference in leadership philosophy.  When the time comes, take that deep breath, gather your data points and counter-arguments, and sit down with a good attitude to talk about the facts of the matter.  Understand, that like parents, they are your leader, and they can simply say no – and you have to suck it up, buttercup.  But, if they’re on my team, they better say “No… and here’s why.”  That said, most strong leaders will listen with an open mind, push-back, challenge your data, and hopefully, eventually, agree with you.  If you’re right, then the only way you won’t get your way is if you can’t explain WHY you’re right.

Speaking of eyesight…


Rubes cartoons used with permission. www.rubescartoons.com




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