Thursday, March 27, 2008

The 10 Worst Things You Could Say To Your Boss

The daily reality of being a boss is hard work, thankless even. So why make life harder for the both of you. Heres a light-hearted look at some of the things you should avoid saying, unless you're hoping to pick up your P45!


"The alarm didn't go off -- again."
Everyone has days when the bus breaks down, the washing machine packs up or the alarm doesn't go off. The problem is that some people have those days every day and what really annoys your boss is your lame excuse. "It shows you don't care," says Louis Halpern, CEO at London ad agency Halpern Cowan. "Why they can't just tell you that they find it hard to get out of bed and be done with it I don't know. It really makes me furious."


"We could have gone somewhere nicer for the office party."
Bitching is bad; whining is worse. "What really annoys me is when we buy new equipment or take everyone out, and all I hear the next day is 'We should have bought a bigger TV' or 'We could have gone to a better restaurant," says Halpern. "And that's when we've spent £5,000."


"Yeah, whatever."
Your boss has to stay motivated all the time. So, when you fall asleep in meetings or show you can't be bothered to do something, it makes their job even harder. Your lazy attitude will also affect other staff around you.


"Isn't it time I had a pay rise?"
Before rushing to your boss and demanding a rise, you need to build a case why. Prepare a list of recent achievements that show how you've helped increase profits, improved efficiencies or saved costs. Be as specific as possible. If you're in sales, for example, note your year-on-year account comparisons, quarterly highlights and client wins.


"It wasn't my fault."
Problems can happen to anyone. don't pass the blame or deny the error -- youll be more respected if you own up and let your boss know what you're doing about it. For example, if you submitted a report and later discovered your figures were wrong, explain how you're contacting the relevant people to correct the information.


"Would you like to link to me on Facebook/LinkedIn?"
Never be tempted to invite your boss to become your social network friend. It's best to learn things about them much later -- or never at all. Keep personal and professional lives separate.


"That's not part of my job description."
If you don't have the necessary skills for a new project, admit this to your boss rather than act difficult. Discuss what help or courses you may need.


"I'm planning my wedding and too busy to take on any more work right now."
Never let your home tasks interfere with your job. You are paid a salary to work. If something personal is eating into your work life, ask your boss for time off or even a sabbatical.


"I'm leaving because I can't stand working for you."
What goes around comes around. Even if you hate your boss with a vengeance, always part on good terms because you're likely to need a reference from them. You may even end up working for or even with them again one day.


"Your breath smells/That tie's disgusting/Is that a photo of your wife or mother?"
Hmmm. Maybe you should consider brushing up on your diplomacy skills.


If tact isn't your strength, think before you speak. Being open and proactive can help make conversations with your boss easier and more successful. And never forget that the worst thing you can do is talk to everyone else but the boss.

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