Work Language: 10 comments you never make to your boss

February 8, 2017|

I’ve had times when communication with the boss has been great. Other times, it has been a bit more challenging.

Threats and swearing are never “OK.” In fact, I believe any expression lacking respect toward your boss should not be given voice. Inspired by a story I saw on the topic in Business Insider, from my perspective, these are things you should never say to your boss, in no particular order.

  1. “I’m late because________________.” If being on time is an issue, your boss is acutely aware of it.  Instead of coming up with another excuse, choose instead to do what you need to do to show up on time.
  2. “That’s not my job.” In these days of cost-cutting and consolidation, many of us are stretched and are being asked to do more.  (Yes, that means work harder!) Trust me, if you don’t want to do the work, many others are willing to step in and take your place!
  3. “I’ve already tried that.”While that might be true, saying so makes you sound like you’re lazy. It would be better to explain why that path was ineffective.
  4. “Fine. I’ll just leave.”Aside from being very unprofessional, these words also tell your boss that you might just up and leave on a whim. That’s not what you what him or her to be thinking!
  5. “At the last place I worked we did it this way…”Do you really want your boss to think you consider the last place you worked to be the standard for the way things should be done? Look ahead — not backwards.
  6. “I assumed…”One of my personal favorite phrases is “Communication is the message received.” Choose to pay attention to the memos and emails your boss sends out. There really is a good reason for them. Well, most of them anyway!
  7. “It’s not my fault.”Finger-pointing only leads to fractures and dissent in the office. It’s always wise to take full responsibility for your actions. If you’ve messed up, admit it, learn from it and move on.
  8. “So-and-so is nearly impossible to work with.” Complaining about a co-worker never helps you or your team! We all have folks we find easy to work with, and others who are more of a challenge. Choose to embrace the strengths of the folks you work with. Remember, they get to work with you!
  9. “I deserve a raise.” Some people think these words should come up every time salary is discussed. When you make a positive difference and consistently excel with your job responsibilities, it will be obvious.
  10. “I’d make a better boss than you.” At times I’ve truthfully thought that was the case. In reality, until I actually became the guy sitting in the boss’ chair, I really didn’t grasp the weight of responsibility that’s involved with the job on a daily basis. Lead where you are. If you earn an opportunity to be the boss someday, I believe that door will open for you.

Start this year determined to serve those you work with. Pray for your boss. Encourage those around you. Work hard. Stay focused.  Choose to be a difference maker.


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