How do I deal with a boss who thinks he is always right?

Thursday June 11 2020


By Caroline Mboijana

Dear Caroline,
My boss has a mentality of “the boss is always right”. One cannot disagree with him on principle and not get into trouble, and yet many times his decisions are not the best for the company. My colleagues usually just look on to guard their peace. How do I professionally disagree with him for the good of the company without annoying him? Ruth

Dear Ruth,
It is commendable that you are thinking about how your boss’ decisions are impacting the business not merely about doing what your boss says must be done. In order to have a meaningful discussion with your boss, you will need to be prepared.

By this I mean that you have all the data and information that supports your perspective. You may want to revisit your boss’ decision and ask whether you fully appreciate his perspective and understand, as much as it possible, what considerations he has taken into account before stating his position.

In addition, you will need to make sure you have collected all the data that supports your position and rationale. What is critical is to make sure your data, information and rational is able to paint a picture of the message you are trying to communicate. An important point to consider is the timing.

While you would want to make sure you schedule time for the discussion, you also have to consider the timing for the implementation of the decision.

In an ideal world, you will want to speak with your supervisor before the team starts implementing his directive so if there are any changes, they can be made without causing too much disruption. It is important you schedule a meeting and not simply walk into his office. He may ask what the purpose of the meeting is and at this stage the focus is on sharing your thoughts and that that is what you should communicate.

When the meeting finally takes place, remember he is your supervisor and as such, should be given the respect. I would start the discussion with recognising the positive aspect of his leadership.


I would then share thoughts on how you think some of the decisions he has made, make sure are not criticising his decision but offering an alternative approach that can yield the best results for the company. He must see the value of your opinion and perspective so he can buy in to your ideas.

lastly, prepare yourself emotionally in the event he does not come on board but more importantly that his rejection does not stop you from delivering the best you can in the work place.

Caroline Mboijana,
Managing Director,
The Leadership Team (U)