Deccan Chronicle

Five things not to say to your boss ever

Deccan Chronicle.| Anjali Kochhar

Published on: August 28, 2023 | Updated on: August 28, 2023
Representational image

Representational image

We all know there’s always an unsaid cold energy that runs between an employee and their manager. Mostly it remains cold, but sometimes, work frustration makes an employee blurt their heart out, — not in a very good manner. However, in these times, there runs a fear of losing a job or certain other harmful circumstances in the mind of the employees. To avoid such situations, we bring you a piece on what not to say to your boss, as mostly, all we talk about is what to say to your boss.

‘I could have done better’

Telling your boss, "I could have done this better," can be risky and potentially harmful to your professional relationship and reputation," says, Vineet Sharma, human psychology enthusiast and media consultant. "Caution should be exercised since such a remark can risk your professional rapport and credibility. It may come across as arrogance and disrespect, qualities best avoided. Additionally, timing matters greatly – asserting your potential superiority during project discussions can seem opportunistic. If you have valuable insights, conveying them constructively and collaboratively yields better results."
At the same time, it is essential to be mindful of your tone and how your boss perceives your statement. So, the pro-tip here is even if you could have done better, don’t just say it as it is. Maybe try playing with words here!

‘I have plans during the weekend’

"It’s often wise not to disclose our weekend plans to the boss, as experience suggests that such disclosure might inadvertently lead to an increase in workload or potential rescheduling," says Shantanu Pednekar, a media professional. He suggests adopting a more discreet approach which allows us to fully enjoy and recharge during our planned activities.

"While it’s essential to keep our enjoyment private, sharing the positive experiences we’ve had once we’re back at work can foster a healthy rapport with our boss.

This way, we can maintain a balance between our personal time and professional commitments," he said.

And when we said, bosses think otherwise, we meant some bosses, who are cool about their approach. Ridhima Kansal, director, Rosemoore, said, "It’s critical to convey your holiday plans; portraying them as being ‘long’ or hinting the fact that you will be absent for a lengthy period without sufficient warning
could interfere with workflow planning. Give ample warning and outline how your work will be handled while you are away."

‘I told you I can’t do this, Why do you keep asking me?’

Well, this one comes from the experience of a Human Resource professional. Nivedita Kannan, head, people function at crypto investment platform Mudrex, said, "The relationship between a manager and their reportee is often riddled with difficult situations and conversations. Some managers work hard at building a rapport with their team to ensure relatability and engagement while others may prefer keeping the power distance and managing teams within a stipulated hierarchy. Navigating this could be hard at times. This is one of the examples of quirkiest conversations I have heard in the company where a reportee talks back like this and gets into trouble."

‘Please leave me alone so I can get my work done’

Yes, it is understandable that some people need their space when they are working on a project. However, bluntly telling your boss to leave you alone while working can be risky for your job! Kannan agrees with us. Maybe try saying, "I will get back to you in an hour or two." They’ll understand what you mean. Sometimes you need to make your tone do the talking.

‘I need a pay hike due to a  personal emergency’

Gunjan Goel, director, Goel Ganga Developments, believes that while addressing pay is necessary, mentioning personal financial difficulties might not prove to be an ideal professional manner. "When proposing a pay increase, emphasise your successes, contributions as well as market analysis; even acknowledging a lack of effort upon a project looks negatively on the way you work and devotion," she says. This comes from someone who is a boss lady herself, so might mean something meaningful.

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