Dissent in the Workplace : What Every Employee Should Know

Dissent in the Workplace : What Every Employee Should Know

Workplace dissent is dissatisfaction with a viewpoint, policy, or decision. It can be unpleasant, but it’s usually good for the workplace. 

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Dissension, on the other hand, is a more serious and lengthy disagreement that can lead to more workplace ill will. Dissent should be handled professionally and healthily to avoid discord.

Providing a Model of Leadership in the Face of Opposition

If you are a colleague, you can often help with the situation by demonstrating worries and then bringing the problem to the attention of your manager. In the event that this does not work, the remaining matters are to be handled by management. The ability to handle dissension in the workplace is an essential leadership quality, and a good manager should have it.

Dennis Yang, a former CEO of Udemy, was interviewed for an article published in Inc. He stated that leaders should not be afraid of dissent. An organisation may typically benefit from having some level of dissent in its ranks. Instead, he suggests that people respond to criticism in a way that is credible and productive.

Do not hide : Genuine leaders do not shy away from conversation but instead listen to the points of view of those with whom they differ.

Embrace an open culture: Successful business cultures are characterised by openness, diversity, and accountability in all aspects of the organisation.

Set a good example : When confronted with a point of view that is contrary to your own, resist the need to react angrily, even if the person you are debating with is upset.

Fostering empathy means that you should make an effort to comprehend another person’s perspective even if you fundamentally disagree with them.

Issue with dissent

The fact that many people do not want to listen to it. As a result, a significant number of workers are concerned that voicing their disagreement will make others view them in a poor light or that it won’t really make a difference. According to the findings of a poll as well as conversations with employees and supervisors, there are no magic phrases that will make people listen to you; nonetheless, there are a few things that seem to constantly be related with pleasant experiences.

One of the most crucial questions to ask yourself is: “Who should be on the receiving end of your dissent?” 

One will need to communicate your thoughts to an individual who possesses the authority to take action in response to the issue before any significant progress can be made.

Instead of merely making a complaint or drawing attention to an issue, you could try combining your disagreement with a potential solution instead. Because of this, it will be more hard for someone to dismiss you as a petty complainer or hothead, and it will save your audience from the mental strain. 

When you are presenting a solution while simultaneously outlining a problem, it is important to put the emphasis on the solution that you are suggesting. Your audience is less likely to realize that you’ve provided a solution if you don’t deliver it in a way that is obvious and strong, and this makes it easier for them to brush aside your opposition.

When providing your counterargument, be sure to make direct factual arguments so that this impression is strengthened. The inclusion of supporting evidence that exhibits critical thinking and rational analysis is required for direct factual appeals.

Before presenting your argument, you need to address the following additional question first: When is the appropriate time to voice your disagreement? When is the right time to stir things up? When an employee criticises a policy or practise, dissent can be perilous because not everyone values the employee’s initiative to do so. You run the risk of being misunderstood as a troublemaker or coming across as someone who is constantly complaining. Check that you are acting with the organization’s best interests in mind at all times. But beyond that, how can you distinguish yourself as a “problem solver” without coming out as a “whiner”?


Think deeply about your experiences in the workplace, and give heed to the moments when something pushes you past a certain limit. Then make your voice heard in a manner that is more likely to help things turn out well.


Weedmark, David. “How to Resolve Dissension at the Workplace.” Work – Chron.com, work.chron.com/resolve-dissension-workplace-17077.html. Accessed 12 Feb. 2023.


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