Honest employees are highly valued by companies all over the world. However, there is such a thing as being too honest, and when it comes to talking to your boss, you may want to think twice before telling him or her what you really feel.
Even in the most casual office environments, there are some things that employees should never, ever say to their bosses. Even if what you meant no offense, it’s important to be mindful when communicating with your boss, as your little interactions could possibly cost you your job.
Here are the things that you should never say to your boss.
“That’s above my pay grade.”
According to SoFi career strategist Rachel Kim (via CNBC), people who feel underpaid or underappreciated often shun additional responsibilities by saying this. As a variation, they also say “that’s not part of my job.”
Saying this gives the impression that you’re not willing to pitch in or go the extra mile in the workplace. Do the extra work, and use this as a leverage for future conversations about a raise or a promotion.
“You’re not really wearing that to the meeting, right?”
No matter if you’re buddies with your boss, telling your boss how to dress is a no-no. If your boss is heading into an important meeting and happens to have a spot on his tie, by all means, point it out to him discreetly so he can change it. The same goes if your boss has food on his face or has parsley stuck to his teeth. Just remember to be discreet to avoid embarrassing him or her.
“I can’t do that. I’m not good at that.”
Kim said that while you may think that you’re being honest, those phrases may you sound as if you’re unwilling to learn and grow. If you find a particular task to be challenging, ask for recommendations on what you can do to improve.
“I can’t work with him/her.”
This suggests a lack of maturity, and your boss will assume that you’re the one with the attitude problem, and not your co-worker. It’s best to put aside your personal feelings towards your colleague and stay professional in the workplace.
“That’s not how we did it at my old company.”
There are better ways to suggest doing things differently than saying this phrase. There’s no better way to antagonize your boss than to imply that he doesn’t know what he is doing.
For more, check out Jobs & Hire's report on the things that you should never say to your office friend.