What To Do When Your Boss Is Wrong – 12 Steps

Written By Aleena

There’s nothing worse than feeling like your boss is constantly second-guessing you. Or making decisions that you disagree with. But what to do when your boss is wrong?

When someone is wrong, it can be difficult to tell them. You don’t want to make them feel bad. But you also don’t want to let them continue making poor decisions.

12 Things To Do When Your Boss Is Wrong

If you’re struggling with what to do when your boss is wrong, talk to him directly. Here are a few tips on how to:

1. Prepare A Solid Argument:

When trying to convince someone that they’re wrong, it’s crucial to have a solid argument.

This means doing your research and being prepared to back up your claims.

To convince - What To Do When Your Boss Is Wrong

If you can’t do this, you’re likely to lose the argument. Your argument should include:

– Research to back up your claims

– Examples of where your boss is wrong

– A clear and concise explanation of why you think they’re wrong

It’ll be much harder for your boss to argue with you when you have enough evidence to support your claim.

Moreover, please provide examples of where their decision-making has led to adverse outcomes. This way, they’ll be more likely to see your point of view.

Thus, you must come armed with a well-thought-out argument. Only then can you convince your boss that they’re wrong.

2. Talk To Them In Private:

If you’re going to tell your boss that they’re wrong, it’s essential to do it privately. You don’t want to embarrass them in front of others.

Moreover, you want to avoid any potential conflict that could arise from a public argument.

So, it’s best to schedule a meeting with them privately when there’s no one else around.

You can choose to do this via email or in person. But, if it’s a sensitive issue, it might be best to speak to them in person.

Select a place with fewer distractions to focus on the conversation.

It’ll be easier to have a constructive discussion in a private meeting without interruption.

3. Be Respectful:

Even if you disagree with your boss, it’s essential to be respectful. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything they say.

But, you should avoid being rude or insulting them. After all, they are your superior.

Whatever argument you put forward, make sure it’s respectful. They’re more likely to listen to you and take your opinion seriously.

To be respectful, use words such as “I understand your point of view, but I disagree because…” 

Or “I see where you’re coming from, but I think there’s a better way to do this…” 

4. Listen To Their Side:

Once you’ve presented your argument, it’s time to listen to their side.

This doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything they say. But, it’s essential to understand where they’re coming from.

Moreover, it shows that you’re open to hearing their opinion and willing to compromise.

So, make sure you listen to their side of the story and consider everything.

You never know what argument they give, and you understand why they took the said decision.

5. Avoid Making It Personal:

When discussing the issue with your boss, it’s essential to avoid making it personal. This means refraining from using “you” statements. 

For example, instead of saying “You’re wrong because…”, try “I think there’s a better way to do this because…” 

Making it personal will only worsen and make your boss defensive.

And, it’ll be harder to convince them that they’re wrong if they’re feeling defensive.

You can also say, “I’m not trying to attack you, I just want to understand why you made this decision…” 

They’ll be more likely to open up and explain their reasoning.

6. Avoid Sarcasm:

When trying to convince someone that they’re wrong, it’s essential to avoid sarcasm. This is because it’ll only make the situation worse.

Your boss is likely to interpret your sarcasm as an insult. And this could lead to a conflict.

Sarcasm - What To Do When Your Boss Is Wrong

Some words to avoid here will be “obviously,” “clearly,” and “simply.” So, avoid sarcasm at all costs and stick to a respectful discussion.

7. Be Open To Compromise:

In any argument, it’s essential to be open to compromise. This means being willing to meet in the middle and finding a solution that works for both of you.

If you’re not open to compromise, it’ll be harder to convince your boss that they’re wrong.

Moreover, it’ll make it seem like you’re not interested in finding a solution.

So, be open to compromise and try to find a middle ground. This way, you can resolve the issue without any conflict.

For instance, your boss wants you to work on a project that you’re not comfortable with. Here you can suggest a compromise.

You can say something like, “I’m not comfortable with this project, but I’m willing to work on it if….”

Or “I understand your point of view, but can we find a middle way? Perhaps I can work on this project for a certain amount of time…” 

8. Be Ready For The Consequences:

If you’re going to tell your boss that they’re wrong, you need to be ready for the consequences.

This means being okay because they might not take your opinion seriously. Or, they could get angry with you.

Of course, this isn’t always the case. But, it’s essential to be ready for anything.

So, before you tell your boss they’re wrong, make sure you’re okay with the possible consequences.

This way, you won’t be caught off guard if something does happen.

9. Offer A Solution:

If you want them to take you seriously, it’s essential to offer a solution. Your boss is more likely to listen to you if you have a solution.

For instance, let’s say your boss decides that you disagree. In this case, you can say something like, “I understand your decision, but I think there’s a better way to do this. 

Here’s my suggestion…”

Or “I understand your point of view, but have you considered this solution? I think it would work better…” 

Offering a solution shows that you’re not complaining. But trying to help the situation.

Moreover, it shows that you’re willing to work with your boss to find a solution.

10. Be Confident:

If you want them to take you seriously, it’s essential to be confident. This means having faith in your own opinion and being assertive.

For instance, instead of saying “I’m not sure if this is a good idea…”, try “I think this is a good idea because…” 

Or “I’m confident that this will work because…” 

Being confident shows that you’re not just second-guessing yourself. It shows that you’re sure of your opinion and willing to stand up for it.

11. Thank Them For Their Time:

Last but not least, it’s essential to thank your boss for their time. This shows that you’re respectful and that you appreciate their opinion.

Even if the conversation didn’t go the way you wanted, it’s important to remain polite.

So, at the end of the conversation, you can say something like, “Thank you for your time. I appreciate your opinion.” 

Or “Thank you for listening to me. I know you’re busy, so I really appreciate it.” 

Thank you

Thank you is a small gesture, but it can make a big difference. It shows that you’re respectful and values your boss’s opinion.

12. Follow-Up:

After the conversation, it’s crucial to follow up. This means keeping your boss updated on the situation. Also, this way you can seee if they’re open to your suggestions.

For instance, you can send them an email or talk to them in person.

You can say something like, “I just wanted to follow-up on our conversation. I’m still open to working on this project, but I wanted to get your opinion on my solution…” 

Or “I wanted to follow-up with you about the situation. Have you given any more thought to my suggestion? I think it could really work well…” 

Following up shows that you’re still interested in the situation. And willing to work with your boss.

It’s important to remember that you’re not always agreeing with your boss. And, that’s okay.

Disagreeing with your boss doesn’t mean that you’re a terrible employee. It just means that you have a different opinion.

If you want to tell your boss that they’re wrong, do it respectfully. Use the tips above to have a productive conversation with your boss.

And, who knows? Maybe they’ll even change their mind.

Understanding Boss’s Psychology

When someone tells a boss that they are wrong, the boss may feel several things.

1. Defensiveness:

The first is likely to be defensiveness. After all, no one likes when someone tells them they’re wrong, especially by someone who works for them.

In defense, they may start to rationalize their decision. Or try to find faults in your argument.

They might say, “Well, you’re not the expert on this. I am. And I know what’s best for the company.” 

Or “I’m the boss. I make the decisions around here. And I’ve decided that this is what we’re going to do.”

2. Anger:

The second feeling your boss may experience is anger. Again, this is perfectly natural. After all, you’re challenging their authority. 

They may start to raise their voice or get aggressive. They might say, “How dare you question my decision! I’m the boss around here, not you!” 

Boss  gets angry.

Or “I don’t have to explain myself to you. I’m the one in charge here.” 

You need to stay calm and avoid getting defensive yourself to handle this situation.

If the intensity rises, you can say, “I’m sorry if I’m making you angry. I’m just trying to understand your decision.” 

3. Threatened:

Your boss may also start feeling threatened. This is because you’re challenging their authority, and they may feel losing control.

They may start to doubt themselves or their decision. They might say, “Maybe you’re right. Maybe I am wrong.” 

Or “I’m not sure what to do. I’ll have to think about it.” When they do this, you have to be careful. You don’t want to come across as smug or superior.

You also don’t want to make them feel like they’re not competent.


When your boss is wrong, it’s essential to handle the situation carefully.

Remember to stay calm and respectful. Be prepared for them to react in several ways, but don’t take it personally.

And, most importantly, don’t give up. Your boss may not always be correct, but they are the boss.

So, you have to find a way to work together, even when you disagree.

Last Updated on 1 year by Shahzaib Arshad


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