Do you want have a good and lasting relationship with your boss? How do you keep your boss in a good mood? Much is written about the do’s and dont’s. I would like to especially concentrate here on the dont’s.
You certainly do not want to give him any reason to think that you do not like the company, that you can not handle your work or that you do not like your work. Sounds logical, does it not? And yet employees everywhere and on a daily basis violate against these basic rules. As with the – at first glance completely harmless – comments below. Put yourself in the shoes of your employer and you immediately realize what unpleasant consequences a simple hick-up like this can have.
The basic rules: never pronounce one of the below sentences in the presence of your boss.
That is not my job
Most employers will assume that your work consists of what they ask you to do. Therefore, never say that a certain job does not belong to your tasks. What you can do is make it clear that it is not a good idea or in the interest of the company. Also immediately indicate to your boss that the job requested is questionable and why it is better for everyone to let someone else do it. You may tell yourself that it remains tricky anyway.
That’s not my problem
Your employer will automatically assume that you are not very concerned with your work. A misunderstanding that you can easily avoid, by just having an open mind to the problems at hand. Even better is of course to do your best to help, because a problem in the workplace is a problem for everyone within the team.
That is not my fault
The louder you call that something is not your fault, the more people will suspect you. Therefore avoid these words and be prepared to handle the situation as best as you can. In the end, it pays-off far more to find a solution than to find a guilty party.
I can only do one thing at a time
Are you betting that your boss recognizes that he gives you too much work? You better think twice, as he will search for the cause and suspect that you can not handle your work properly.
I am overqualified for this job
Simpy put, you have accepted this job, so live by it. Complaining about your diplomas or skills not put to work will also reflect badly on your colleagues and your boss may think that you are a bastard. Not immediately the way to make promotion.
What a piece of cake!
In this case it seems like you find the work in question too easy (read: not very challenging or even stupid). Maybe you said this because you only wanted to convince your colleagues and boss that you are really good at your work. Maybe words are not enough. You best prove it, as is often the case, with deeds.
That’s not possible
These are probably the worst words you can say to any boss. Even if a particular assignment is a real ‘mission impossible’, you do not want your employer to suspect that you can not handle your job. So first find out why you are presented with an almost impossible task and take action to achieve the intended goal as well as possible. Your bet will be rewarded twice as well.
You do not have to tell everything about yourself
Talking about subjects that do not relate to the work can create a more personal bond between a boss and his employees. But many people, and therefore also bosses, tend to talk exclusively about themselves when they do not know their interlocutor well.
Many employees, and especially new employees, have little interest in the last holiday, the antique collection or the beach house of their manager. (New) employees want to hear whether they are doing well and what can be improved. Employees who have been working for the same employer for a long time also prefer a boss who is visibly caring about them rather than a manager who constantly talks about himself.
My private life really does not matter to you.
“And, how do you make it, uh, your children?”, “Are you going to do something nice tonight?” or “Who do you think tonight will win the match?” are questions from bosses who seem to be disingenuous or forced for some employees. Managers have two options: either they really get to know their employees and they know the names of their children, or they keep it strictly professional.
A good way for managers to show that they consider their employees important is the 20% rule. Talk about yourself only 20 percent of the time and let the other person speak for the rest of the time. Getting the feeling that you are being listened to is very important to most employees.
Do you not you see that I’m busy?
You will see it, every time your boss decides to talk to you extensively, it does not really work out well and you get stuck in the work. Do not ever use these words to him. Of course you make time for your manager, even if you have to work overtime to get your work done. Timing is everything, and therefore bosses must realize that you just want to do your job.
You claim that you respect me … then give me an important assignment.
Bosses can show respect for their employees by entrusting them with important assignments. If, in addition, they allow their employees the freedom to decide for themselves how to complete certain crucial tasks, this ‘respect’ will not go unnoticed. Showing trust does a lot.
Conclusion + recommendation
So you see there are a lot of pitfalls that employees can fall for, even to the point where dismissal will follow. I hope that I have shown you that even when your intentions are good, you can just make a totally wrong remark with all adverse consequences as a result. Heeding a bit of above advice can prevent a lot of unwanted circumstances and make you working life a whole lot easier. However, just in case your conduct leads to your untimely dismissal, here is something you can do right away.
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