Whether you have a reasonable or absolutely idiotic boss, there are certain things you can never say to him. Even if you need to communicate these ideas to the big man, it is best you cushion it with some serious sugar talk as saying it as it is could cause major problems for you in your work. Here are 7 things you should never say to your boss.
1 That’s Not My Job
When your boss tells you to do something, shooting back an immature ‘that’s not my job’ is not a good idea. Bosses just want the problem solved, issue fixed and job done. They don’t really care who does it. Even if it is not your job, answer in the positive with ‘I’ll get that done for you’ and perhaps rope in the relevant staff. You may also want to drop a mail copying your boss instructing the relevant person to complete the task.
2 It Can’t Be Done
Hearing negative and stubborn comments like these can really put your boss off. So despite all your misgivings about the task he is asking you to do, hold back on the irresistible – ‘it can’t be done’. Rather than that, say something like, ‘Ok there are a number of factors that will make it difficult but I will try my best’.
3 I Told You so
No matter how much you expressed your concerns and misgivings about a project, when it turns out you were right take that as vindication enough. There is no need to go to your boss and rub it in with an ‘I told you so’. He probably already hates you for being right and this will just make it worse.
4 I Didn’t do That
When something goes wrong, don’t pass the buck even if the buck is not yours. Face the music and then help to fix the problem. Later on in calmer moments explain how the issue arose.
5 I’ll do It if I Have the Time
Showing you have a can-do approach can really impress your boss. Showing the opposite – a negative attitude about the work assigned – can totally put him off. So before you think you need to express how overworked and underpaid you are, consider the consequences.
6 I Told Them to do It but They Just Messed It up
If you are responsible for a task, don’t attempt to wash your hands off the responsibility when your team messes up. Taking ownership for successes and failures is part of being a manager so face the music but definitely pass it on to your team.
7 I Don’t Know
Even if you don’t know the answer, don’t say you don’t know. Say that you will find out. Nothing annoys a manager more than ill-informed staff members so confirm that you will find out and then provide the information when you get it.
Keeping your boss happy is a delicate task but one that can be easily achieved by adopting a more diplomatic style in your work dialogue. The suggestions above should help you build a strong relationship.
Top image source: blog.nwjobs.com