3 Ways to disagree politely

⏳ 2 minute read

Disagreements, caused by the lack of proper communication and expression can lead to negative experiences in the workplace. 


Published on August 6, 2020

by Kass Monzon

We’ve all been part of conversations where the other person’s idea just doesn’t make sense for us and we wonder if we should speak up or just let it go. If we speak up, what do we say? How do we say it? Will she get offended? 

Before we talk about the polite ways to disagree with someone, ask yourself this, “Is it worth it?” If the answer is no, then you’re better off not saying anything. If you have decided to engage, keep these tips in handy to make sure that you have a healthy discussion. 

1. Mind the tone

When disagreeing with someone, don’t wear your heart on your sleeve. Always keep a cool, casual, non-challenging tone. It’s easy to get carried away by your frustration but keep in mind that calm conversations give us more room to empathize with the other person that can lead to a more productive discussion.

Don’t: Raise your voice
Do: Keep calm, breathe and choose your words wisely

2. Don’t make it personal

Remember to always be professional. If your staff or colleague contributes an idea that is different from yours, never use this opportunity to hurl personal insults or challenge their intelligence to try to make your point. Should you voice out your opinion, make sure that you have a rock-solid argument or justification that is backed by verifiable data. Doing so will make your argument more credible and effective. 

Don’t: Attack the other person’s ideas 
Do: Focus on facts to make more effective and compelling arguments

3. Don’t interrupt. Ever.

When someone says something that triggers us, we tend to cut them off in the middle of  a conversation to make our own arguments – and this is probably one of the rudest things we can do to someone. Allow the person to finish her thoughts and make your own mental notes (if taking physical ones is not possible) about the points that you want to clarify when your turn comes. Being able to wait your turn to speak shows maturity and respect for the other person.

Don’t: React impulsively
Do: Take mental notes and wait for your turn to speak

Disagreeing politely is a great skill to learn. Disagreeing without basis or just to win an argument is never a good reason to do it so take this time to reflect and start being mindful whenever you want to speak up and challenge someone’s idea at work. 

Kass Monzon

Kass is the co-founder at Workbean. She’s obsessed about finding happiness at work and helping organizations understand their people better. She will never be seen without coffee in her hand.

Actively hiring companies with amazing culture


Contribute to the empowerment of the world to design anything and publish anywhere with Australia’s fastest growing startup.


Build tools that inspire collaboration and facilitate growth in a place where you can unleash your true potential as an individual.


Forward your career in joining the team committed to nation building and driving financial inclusion.

Lifetrack Medical Systems

Join a purpose-driven healthcare company where your work can impact millions of lives around the world.

Zen Rooms

Join a tribe of young achievers who have entrepreneurial spirits dedicated to revolutionizing the travel sector.

© 2020 Workbean. All Rights Reserved.