3 Things You Should Never Say to Your Boss

No Talking

Avoiding 3 simple phrases can boost your power with your boss.

Communicating confidently with your boss can be challenging.  Day- to- day we have conversations with our boss that impact how they view our work, our potential and our relationship.  Therefore, knowing how to talk to your boss with confidence as well as ensuring that you are building the right reputation is critical.

Below are 3 things you should avoid saying to your boss to maintain a positive impression:

1.  “It was nothing.”  One should never say “it was nothing” to a boss whom has given a compliment on a job well done.

Many of us down play our achievements.  We believe if we say our achievements come easy, we will earn respect and recognition.  Most of us also have been socialized to believe that self-promotion is distasteful.  Therefore, we are uncomfortable taking full credit for our work.

When we downplay our achievements, instead of winning accolades for our strategic approach, project management skills and meeting aggressive deadlines, telling our boss that our accomplishment was nothing, diminishes our contribution and credibility.

When you have a success, learn how to take credit for it by simply saying “thank you”.  You may even try kicking it up a notch by adding, “you picked the best person for the job.”  Remember, if you don’t think your accomplishment is a big deal, no one else will either.

 2.  “No” Even when your boss gives you an assignment that may seem unreasonable or unrealistic, saying “no” could tarnish your reputation and jeopardize future advancement opportunities.

Unless the request is unethical, illegal or against company policy, finding a way to “yes” will boost your status with your boss.  Bosses are loyal to those who they can count on to get it done.  Therefore, instead of saying “No or that’s impossible”,  outline what resources, support or information you need to get the job done.  Saying something like; “Sure we can do that.  I will put together a plan on how we will meet that objective.” will go a long way.

When you find a way to “yes”,  you become the “go to” person.  This is a valuable position.  When your boss knows that she can count on you, her confidence in you will soar.  You will also earn respect when you learn how to ask for what you need to complete the job.

3.  “I feel…”   Using words like I feel, weakens your language and focuses on emotions rather than actions.

Small adjustments to the words you use with your boss can change how you’re perceived.  If you wish to communicate confidence with your boss, establish a reputation as someone who takes action.  Below is an example of how a small adjustment enhances the power of your words:

Emotional & Weak:  I feel really good about how the project is going.

Powerful & Active:    The project is on target, on budget and will be completed in time for the release date.

Communicating with confidence with your boss is important.  Choosing the rights words is critical to establishing a solid reputation and credibility.  A few simple adjustments can have you communicating with confidence in no time.

© Jocelyn Giangrande, SASHE, LLC and The Confident Woman, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author  is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jocelyn Giangrande and SASHE, LLC with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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5 thoughts on “3 Things You Should Never Say to Your Boss

  1. Thank you very much for the advice. I have a horrible habit of downplaying my contributions which have definitely held me back. I appreciate the tips.

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