• strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home2/harrissi/public_html/home/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home2/harrissi/public_html/home/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 744.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home2/harrissi/public_html/home/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home2/harrissi/public_html/home/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home2/harrissi/public_html/home/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 159.

Feedback from Subordinates: Disagreement vs Insubordination

Some managers are reluctant to take input from subordinates on the grounds that the sole job of subordinates is to get on board with the manager’s plans and way of doing things.  Having a different perspective or different ideas is, on this view, a form of insubordination.

A distinction needs to be made, however, between disagreement and insubordination.  To disagree on a business question isn’t necessarily to challenge a manager’s authority; people aren’t insubordinate just because they have a different point of view or an independent thought.  A well-intentioned disagreement should be regarded as a help, not a hindrance.  Multiple perspectives on a problem or situation are often useful in finding solutions.  Thoughtful subordinates can also provide a counterweight to a  manager’s weak areas and blind spots.  (It’s also true that people sometimes have ulterior motives for disagreeing, but that’s a separate matter.)

The idea that disagreement is a form of insubordination is usually based on an excessively hierarchical or authoritarian attitude, a feeling of insecurity, or both.  Sometimes managers feel threatened by subordinates who think for themselves and have their own point of view; this can lead them to see insubordination where none exists.  (Some managers actually go out of their way to avoid hiring intelligent and capable people because of this sense of threat, filling their organizations with low-quality yes-men.  This of course is a recipe for mediocrity.)

Not listening to the legitimate ideas of subordinates tells them that their sense of commitment to the job is pointless, and that they themselves are not of value as people or as employees, but are merely tools.  It is highly demotivating, and it will create retention problems. 

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