Never say this to your boss

two asian business executives arguing with caucasian superior in office of a multinational company.

On the job this morning we’re tackling what not to say to your boss.

We’ve all been there saying something that may have been taken the wrong way.

Think before you speak. It could save your job.

This morning Joyce Lancellotti from staffing firm, Robert Half gave us some tips.

What NOT to say to your boss:

“What do you think I should do?”

Managers prefer to know how you’re dealing with a problem vs. being asked to solve it. Instead, go to your boss with some with some solutions and ask for their opinion.

“John is being a real jerk right now. I don’t want to work with him.”

Helping smooth out conflicts is part of a manager’s job. But employees are encouraged to try to work through a conflict or at least have a conversation before asking for help.

“I’m bored.”

A manager may equate “bored” with unproductive and uninspired – sending up a warning flag that you’re dragging morale down for the whole team. If you want a fresh challenge say so – and be positive and proactive in your communication.

“I probably should have told you this sooner, but ….” 

The employee reveals a major problem he or she has known about for a while that is now a full-blown crisis.

“I don’t know.”

Employees aren’t expected to have all the answers all the time. But never say “I don’t know” unless you follow it with something else.

“I don’t want to go to the …” (potluck, baby shower, company picnic, team celebration)

If you can’t attend a team-building or social event that’s understandable. But missing these events consistently or saying you don’t want to go may send the message that you aren’t a team player.