Dissent plays an important role in the workplace. For any organization to thrive, employees need to be able to propose solutions to problems, raise questions about unethical practices and ask how they can work more efficiently and effectively. In places where dissenting opinions are encouraged, employees report greater job satisfaction, and leaders are able to consider a wider range of proposals and options before making decisions.
There’s only one problem with dissent: a lot of people don’t want to hear it. Accordingly, many employees worry that expressing dissent will cause others to see them negatively, or that it simply won’t make a difference. I’ve surveyed and interviewed hundreds of employees and supervisors to better understand how employees can more effectively express their ideas at work. There are no magic words that will make people listen to you, but I’ve found several things that seem to be consistently associated with positive experiences.
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