Why Disagreeable Bosses Are the Best!

Moko Home
2 min readNov 11, 2020

By Fiorenzo Conte, CEO Moko Home+Living

I recently read some research that backs up some of the culture principles we, as a company, want to follow. The one that I wanted to share today is that bosses that are accommodating and too supportive are less effective in their teams’ growth than bosses that are disagreeable.

What’s up with accommodating bosses?

Let’s take an example: you are on the customer care team and you think your company should spend as much time as possible talking with each customer whenever you get the chance. This would mean chatting with them about their stressful day or even helping them to find products the company doesn’t currently sell.

Let’s say you take this idea to your boss and she praises you, saying that she sees the value of the idea. She says that it’s a bit different from what the company is currently doing and that it could be tried sometimes in the future.

You come out of the meeting with a nice feeling, right? However, the truth is that the agreeable boss was creating a situation of quick agreement by giving a compliment and staying out of the risk zone that comes with actually engaging with that new idea.

So what makes for a more effective boss?

An effective boss should be less agreeable and poke more holes into the idea proposed. A disagreeable boss that receives the same idea would ask more questions and try harder to find holes:

What have you seen to convince you that’s the best way? Can you show that the customers that you talked with for a longer period of time ended coming back and spending more money with us later on? How can you test this idea with a few calls and think about how to get more data about your hypothesis?

She tells you as it is. She challenges you and pushes you to make the idea better: and that’s what makes disagreeable bosses more effective bosses. So next time you share your idea remember to look for the disagreement and the questioning as opposed to the nice but impact-less praise.

Happy disagreement week!