GOOD READS

10 Things You Should Never Say to Your Boss

Saying the wrong thing to your boss can really damage your career. From refusing to work with a colleague to bragging about your irreplaceability, here are 10 things you never want to say to your manager:

1. "Can you write that down for me?" When you're talking about the details of a project, writing notes to consult later is great. But you need to take them yourself, not ask your boss to do it for you.

2. "I just booked plane tickets for next month." Never book time off without clearing it with your boss. There might be a major project due that week, or she might have approved others to have that time off and therefore need you around. Check with her first before you do anything irreversible.

3. "My bad." There's nothing more frustrating than an employee who has made a mistake and doesn't seem to think it's a big deal. When you make a mistake, take responsibility for it, figure out how you're going to fix it, and make it clear that you understand its seriousness. Responses like "my bad" sound cavalier and signal that you don't take work seriously. Don't use it for anything other than the most minor mistake (like spilling something in the kitchen, which you then promptly clean up).

4. "I can't work with Joe." Refusing to work with a colleague is an unusually extreme statement and may mark you as difficult. Instead, try something like, "I find it hard to work well with Joe because of X and Y. Do you have any advice on how I can make it go more smoothly?"

5. "I don't know what you'd do without me." No one is irreplaceable, even the head of your company. Statements like this mark you as a prima donna who feels entitled to special treatment ... and will make a lot of managers want to show you that you're wrong.

6. "Do this, or I quit." Whether you're asking for a raise or requesting a day off, don't threaten to quit if you don't get your way. If you don't get what you want, you can always think it over and decide to quit, but if you use it as a threat in the negotiation itself, you'll lose your manager's respect and poison the relationship.

7. "I have another offer. Can you match it?" Using another job offer as a bargaining chip to get your current employer to pay you more money may be tempting, but it often ends badly. First, you may be told to take the other offer, even if you don't really want it--and then you'll have to follow through. Second, even if your employer does match the offer, they'll now assume you're looking to leave, and you may be on the top of the lay-off list if the company needs to make cutbacks. If you want a raise, negotiate it on your own merits.

8. "What's the big deal?" Statements like this are dismissive and disrespectful. If your manager is concerned about something, you need to be concerned about it too. If you genuinely don't understand what the big deal is, say something like, "I want to understand where you're coming from so we're on the same page. Can you help me understand how you're seeing this?"

9. "I can't do X because I need to do Y." Don't say that you can't do something your manager is asking of you. Instead, if there's a conflict with another project, explain the conflict and ask your manager which is more important.

10."That's not my job." Protesting that something isn't in your job description is a good way to lose the support of your boss. Job descriptions aren't comprehensive, and most people end up doing work that doesn't fall squarely within that job description. (That's what "and other duties as assigned" means.) You want to make yourself more valuable to your employer, not less.

Alison Green writes the popular Ask a Manager blog, where she dispenses advice on career, job search, and management issues. She's also the author of Managing to Change the World: The Nonprofit Leader's Guide to Getting Results and former chief of staff of a successful nonprofit organization, where she oversaw day-to-day staff management, hiring, firing, and employee development.



More From US News & World Report

Quiz: How well do you know India's economy?

Question 1

Which of these products is India the world's largest producer of?

Poll Choice Options
  • Wheat
  • Rice
  • Milk
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Latest News

  • Steady PMIs, sluggish China put brakes on European shares

    European shares edged down on Wednesday after three days of gains as data showing China's economy was still stuttering offset some broadly reassuring European purchasing manager index (PMI) numbers. Data compiler Markit's monthly PMI figures, seen as good indicators of future growth, showed that while France's economy was still a drag, Germany was continuing to power the euro zone's recovery. In Asia, China's stock markets had fallen again and the yuan tumbled to 16-month low after a survey …

  • BSE Sensex hits third consecutive record high
    BSE Sensex hits third consecutive record high

    Reuters Market Eye - The BSE Sensex and the Nifty hit record highs for the third consecutive session on Wednesday on the back of gains in blue-chip stocks. The benchmark index hits a record high of 22,901.65. ... …

  • Gold hovers near 2-1/2 month lows
    Gold hovers near 2-1/2 month lows

    Gold was steady but near its lowest in more than two months on Wednesday, with stronger equities denting the metal's safe-haven appeal and outflows from bullion funds showing weak investor appetite. Spot gold was trading flat at $1,283.50 an ounce by 0640 GMT. But if we break that level, we are going to fall to $1,250," said Yuichi Ikemizu, branch manager for Standard Bank in Tokyo. SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund and a good measure of investor …

  • Rupee slips below 61 against the dollar

    Mumbai, April 23 (IANS) The Indian rupee fell below 61 against a dollar for the first time in more than a month Wednesday on continued demands for the greenback from oil importers and weakness in other ... …

  • Credit Suisse upgrades Mahindra & Mahindra to 'outperform'

    Reuters Market Eye - Credit Suisse upgrades Mahindra and Mahindra to "outperform" from "neutral," saying its four-wheeler autos and commercial vehicles will benefit from even a short-lived ... …

IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS & INTERVIEWS

  • This might well be India’s biggest Ponzi scam

    It was just too good to be true. Ashok Khital, 45, displays every symptom of a man who knows he's been conned. …

  • India's star studded football league

    High and mighty including Sachin, Salman & Sun Group buy ISL teams …

  • Leaderspeak with Rajesh Janey

    Rajesh Janey, President - India & SAARC, EMC shares many firsts in his life. …

  • Seed of Doubt

    Field trials have been allowed again in India. But two decades after their global launch, genetically modified (GM) crops remain controversial. …

  • Power Hungry

    Gujarat has power round-the-clock. Most other states do not. Why this will matter in the general elections. …

  • Etcetera

    The most keenly watched contest of the current general election will be the one for the Varanasi parliamentary seat, where the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi squares off ... …

  • Economy vs Democracy

    As the country gets election fever, cash comes out of mattresses and turns into liquor, gifts, and food. But it is not bad for the health of the economy, reports Sarika Malhotra from the trenches. …

MARKET MOVERS

  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    16.73-0.12-0.71%
    UNITECH.BO
    14.43-0.15-1.03%
    SUZLON.BO
    120.80+7.40+6.53%
    FRL.BO
    69.00+7.05+11.38%
    MANGCHEM.BO
    54.45+1.70+3.22%
    HCLINFO.BO
  • Price % Gainers
    Price % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    16.20+2.70+20.00%
    JAGSONPH.BO
    51.70+7.10+15.92%
    RUSHIL.BO
    14.80+2.01+15.72%
    SOUTHPET.BO
    23.00+2.65+13.02%
    KILITCHD.BO
    23.50+2.60+12.44%
    NELCAST.BO
  • Price % Losers
    Price % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    -10.95-100.00%
    4THGEN.BO
    -17.30-100.00%
    ALFAICA.BO
    -16.81-100.00%
    AMAL.BO
    -11.73-100.00%
    BORAX.BO
    -29.95-100.00%
    BRADYM.BO
  •  
    Recent Quotes
    Symbol Price Change % ChgChart 
    Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the "Enter symbol/company" at the bottom of this module.
    You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.
  • Recent Quotes News

    •  
      Sign-in to view quotes in your portfolios.