How do you react when an employee disagrees with your point of view?
It can be tempting to assume that you've heard that argument before and to counter it before the employee has finished explaining. An employee who can express disagreement with management demonstrates the valuable quality of independent thinking. You can encourage this quality by listening willingly when your employees disagree with you.
A good way to show your willingness to listen to disagreements is to use summary statements. The next time an employee disagrees with you, try this approach:
1. Wait until the person is done speaking, even if you're sure you understand the argument.
2. Restate the main points of the employee's argument.
3. Ask the employee to verify the accuracy of your statement and to clarify it if necessary.
4. Then — and only then — state specifically which points you disagree with and why.
While you may not change your position any more frequently using this technique, employees will feel that you have considered their input and understand their point of view.