Career Tips

Things You Should Never Tell Your Boss

Date Posted: 04/20/2017

“Kumusta na yung boss mong masungit?” used to be one of the most common phrases heard at work. But as more companies and organizations become horizontally structured and company cultures become more casual, the line between boss and employee is continually blurring. As opposed to the kontrabida traditional bosses, more and more bosses today choose to become more accessible to their teams. What a lot of employees tend to forget, however, is that while there is this continuous blurring of the line, there is still a line. There are behaviors that are deemed inappropriate and things that are better kept private. That said, here are a few things you should never ever tell your boss, no matter how beshie-level you think your friendship is.

1. Office gossip.  Granted, you should avoid being involved in office gossip entirely, but if you do get involved, never speak about it with your boss. If you do, it only speaks badly of your character and your boss will think that you too are involved in gossip.  The integrity of the entire team or department is compromised and how can the leader still trust his/her employees if gossip rages among the staff.  In fact, you should do your best to try and stop an office gossip.

2. Opinions your colleagues have of the boss.  “But honesty is the best policy!” Bes, konting common sense naman you say  Yes, but negative feedback does not serve any purpose. Constructive feedback is welcome, even encouraged at the proper time but without flattery.  Opinions also have the potential to fall under the “office gossip” category–don’t fall into a “he said, she said” situation where you tell the boss everyone’s opinion of them.

3. Excessive personal information.  If you want to chat with your boss about your hobbies? Sure. Rant to them about problems at home? Maybe, if they have expressed comfort with that kind of thing. Share anecdotes about your sexual activities?  Absolutely not.  Don’t discuss anything that could be used against you at a later date.

4. Your unwillingness to do some tasks.  One of the things you should avoid telling your boss is “Ayaw kong gawin ‘yan.” If something is your responsibility, you are expected to do it, regardless of whether you are happy doing it or not.  If, however, you are not confident about your skills in carrying out the job, be honest and inform your boss of your fear.  Ask for a chance to practice with proper supervision so you become comfortable doing it.

5. “You’re wrong”.  Never to say this to your boss.  Sometimes it becomes a habit to say something like this because it just slips out.  A statement like this will immediately put your boss or anyone else on the defensive and annoy them to say the least.  Even if you think your boss is wrong, it’s always better to use diplomatic language and say something like “What do you think if we did it this way?”

6. “I was too busy”.  Like you, everyone is extremely busy at work and what your boss wanted done might not have been important to you at the time.  However, when you are asked about a task that has not been completed by you yet it is better to be proactive and say that the task will be done rather than explaining why it is late.

7. “This is not my problem”.  Everyone has a number of tasks to perform and saying something like it is not your problem is just shifting the problem on to someone else.  It also shows that you are not a team player who is willing to take up the slack and help your colleagues in completing a task.  If it really is something that is beyond your control then you can ask your boss to talk to the person concerned since you are not quite sure about certain aspects.

8. “I just assumed that ……”  Sometimes what your boss means to tell you and what you understand is not exactly how he or she would have wanted the job to be done.  Rather than to go on the defensive and make your boss feel that they did not explain things properly, it is much better to just clarify with the boss by asking him/her to just explain exactly what has to be done.

9. Excuses.  If there is one thing that bosses hate more than an employee who constantly makes mistakes, it’s an employee who constantly refuses to own up to their own mistakes. Don’t point fingers and pass the blame. Most importantly, don’t ever try to cover up mishaps with a lie. Excuses, however petty they may seem, erodes trust and credibility, which are hard to earn and even harder to regain.

A healthy relationship with your boss is imperative for a good career and a good track record in the company, and an important part of this relationship is proper and respectful communication.  Keeping an open, friendly line of communication with the boss is something all employees should strive to achieve, there are things that are best kept unsaid. After all, iba pa rin ang boss sa bes.

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