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3 Things You Should Never Say to Your Boss

By October 23, 2019Career Guidance

Whether you have a great relationship with your boss or there’s room for improvement, there are some things you should never say in their presence. It’s important to have their trust and respect, so don’t say anything to make them doubt or question your capabilities. Here are three things you should never say to your boss, and what you should say instead.

“I Don’t Know”

While you cannot know everything and your boss understands this, it’s important to express confidence and competence. Don’t use your time together to express doubt or confusion. If there is a question you can’t answer, tell your boss you will do some research and find out the answer. Alternatively, you can ask your boss follow-up questions so you can learn more about the question.

“I’m Tired”

It is common to feel tired, especially on a Monday morning or when you’re working diligently on an important project. However, it isn’t professional to talk about it with your boss. It gives the impression you don’t want to be there. Instead, find a way to energize yourself so you can maintain a positive attitude. Feeling tired frequently may mean you need to practice better self-care to achieve a balance.

“I’ll Get to That Tomorrow”

Don’t give the impression that you’re procrastinating or not doing the work. If you do have a lot on your plate for your day, you should ask your boss to clarify what the priorities are. Don’t assume that the task can wait until the next day. Perhaps, the priorities have shifted, and this is a task that needs to be completed right away. It’s always best to ask for more information instead of brushing the task off as unimportant.

What to Say Instead: Why? Tell Me More. How So?

Show your boss that you have a healthy dose of curiosity. Also show them that you care about understanding what’s expected of you and the priorities at hand. Asking for more information or for clarification is a strong sign of maturity. Things like “Tell me more” or “How so?” demonstrate that you’re seeking more details. Being well-informed will help improve with time management and prioritizing.

Especially if you have a friendly boss, it can be easy to forget they’re your superior. Your words matter. What you say can affect your career. Certain things can cause your boss to question your commitment to the job or whether you have the right personality for the role.

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