Don’t Say This to Your Boss
“Think before you speak” is a mantra to live by in the workplace. Saying the wrong thing, especially in front of your boss, can seriously damage your career and lead to you losing your job. Here are a few things you should never say in front of your boss:
- Ask for a raise: Do not plead for a raise by pointing out your personal needs, i.e. rising rent costs or new expenses. Your boss does not care about your financial situation/problems. Management does, however, reward success and hard work. When discussing a raise, provide evidence of what you have achieved, along with facts about what people with your responsibilities typically earn. Earning a raise should be based on merit, and not based on what you need on a personal level. Make sure that is clear when negotiating a salary.
- Complain about another co-worker: Putting down another co-worker usually says more about you than the co-worker. It shows that you are irascible and incapable of finding a way to work past your problems. If you really are having major problems with someone you work with, calmly take it up with HR. But keep your tone professional and focus on work problems and not personal differences.
- Saying something isn’t possible: Do not have a defeatist attitude when it comes to performing your duties. Speak to your boss in terms of what CAN be done. Don’t say that you won’t be able to meet a certain deadline, for instance. Instead, tell your boss what you CAN do by then, and then politely ask for an extension on the more difficult tasks, which, in your words, “need extra attention.” Have a “CAN DO” attitude at all times, even when the going is tough.
- Saying something is not your fault: Own up to your mistakes, and DO NOT deflect blame onto others. If you made an error, or if something did not go according to plan, accept responsibility, and find a way to fix the problem. “How can we make this right?” sounds a lot better than “It wasn’t me!”