Five Things to Never Say to Your Boss

Here’s an all-too-common situation: You’re talking ever so confidently to your superior, about to finish what you think is an absolute gem of a statement, only to feel instant remorse once the last word rolls off your tongue. Maybe you mixed up your message; perhaps that extra drink took you out of your comfort zone and has now created a discomfort zone. Or maybe you simply came to your senses and realized that your initial thought really wasn’t that great of judgment after all. To be on the safe side, here are some things you should probably eliminate from your Things to Say to Your Boss list… 

“That’s not my job.”
The young professional workplace, and job descriptions in general, are changing. That is to say, employees within the modern workforce are expected to be adaptable, multi-skilled, dynamic and multi-tasking. Telling your boss that something asked of you doesn’t fit within your job description says two things right off the bat: you’re lazy, and you’re incapable. While being incapable could be dismissed, at least start the exchange on the right path by saying, “I’ll see what I can do.” Better yet, say “absolutely” and make it happen.

“I had a long night.”
Maybe so, but telling your boss definitely puts you in a vulnerable position. Say you happen to drop the ball on something; regardless of the reason behind it (it might not even be your fault), you’ve already given your supervisor a reason to assume what’s behind the error: an irresponsible decision. When there’s that bonus assignment available to inch you towards that coveted promotion, who do you think will get first shot at it? Your highly competitive coworker, the one that didn’t show up in the morning working in glass half empty mode. This helps, too. 

“Not with this salary.”
Again, this goes back to diverting responsibility when you should be doing the exact opposite. Everyone will have days where they feel undervalued, underpaid and at odds with what they feel they deserve in financial compensation for their extra effort. Trust us, your initiative will pay off – literally and figuratively. Plus, there’s a whole strategy behind asking for a raise; bringing up your discontent regarding your salary in this manner sets you back greatly in actually achieving what you want by saying it in the first place.

This one’s a real killer. It reveals a lack of will, solution-based thinking and indifference. Maybe it’s impossible for you – even your coworkers or company – but surely there’s a better answer than “it can’t be done.” Think outside the box, look beyond traditional means and offer some sort of value in your answer. Even a joke at the task’s difficulty is better than declaring it immediately impossible. 

 “That’s not how we usually do it.”
This response is sure to maintain mediocrity. The best businesses today, though rooted in tried and tested core principles, take risks, adapt to the times, take curve balls in stride and find innovative solutions. Unless you have a new boss who is just learning the ropes of the daily grind within his new company, chances are he or she has made a calculated decision to make a change. Don’t counter this shift in direction by shooting it down with negativity.