Sometimes employees respond to their bosses in an appropriate manner that they end up jeopardizing their job. It doesn’t matter how close you are or how toxic your boss is. The way you interact with them and the word you use can dictate how long you will work for the organization. At times employees respond in an inappropriate way without even thinking of the impact, only to regret later. Just because your boss is harsh or you feel is unjust doesn’t grant you the opportunity to respond in a discourteous manner. But instead, use a better way to raise your concerns. And here are 5 things you should never ever say to your boss and how to respond like a smart employee.
- “You always give contradicting instructions”
This is one of the trends most employees develop especially when they feel the current job sucks. Just because you are not happy with your current job or you are about to land your new job, does not mean you respond in an impolite way. Even when you have documented instructions, this is not a smart way to express yourself. Remember your new employer may request for a recommendation letter from your former employee and it may be hard especially if you did not have a good relationship with your boss.
When your boss gives you instructions and you feel that you have done your part, instead of arguing out or telling him or her how bad he or she is when it comes to giving orders, you can say something like “I’m sorry, I might have missed something, do you have a minute we go through it together maybe you can help me trace some of the instructions I did not follow right”. Even when your boss is on your case, this response will make him or her look the case in a different perspective and cool down even when things are not right.
- “I’m not the one to blame”
It is common for an employee to find yourself caught up with mistakes which in the real sense you are not the cause. But pointing fingers on others or telling your boss it is not your fault will not resolve the problem. For instance, your boss assigns you a data entry job, and as the team leader, you delegate the job to another team member who submits the final copy with errors, and the next minute your boss is on your case. As a team leader, your boss has a right to question you and pointing finger to your juniors doesn’t resolve the problem, but instead shows your poor leadership skills.
Instead of blaming your colleagues, even if they are the ones to blame, you can apologize and accept mistakes happened and you are going to get them fixed as soon as possible. Before editing the copy, you can inquire from your boss if there are any changes he would like to be corrected or seek clarifications on what needs to be edited. This will help you resubmit a clean copy without errors.
- “This is impossible”
At times you may be delegated or forced to work under pressure and beat tight deadlines. Telling your boss that an urgent job cannot be done may sound rude and things may take another route. When you get yourself in such situation, you can express your concerns in a professional way. You can request for extension or inquire if you can submit a draft within the specified turnaround time. This shows how concerned or dedicated you are on getting the job done even when there isn’t enough time.
- “That’s not what I was hired to do”
Every employee has their own job description but sometimes you may be allocated jobs that are not in your job specifications. When your boss assigns you a job that you were not hired to do, pushing back or arguing out that it is not your job is unprofessional. Alternatively, you can tell your boss in a polite way and perhaps say something like “can it wait till tomorrow because I’m working on another project which needs to be ready by tomorrow or maybe assign it to another staff to tackle it if it’s urgent.
- “Why me”
Depending on the workload, your boss may call you over the weekends or tell you to work for longer hours as compared to other employees in your department. This may look unfair but as a smart employee, you should not respond in a rude way or question your boss why he or she overworks you. You may never know, your boss may be putting you into a test or planning to increase your salary or promote you.
However, you should not sit and watch as the company overworks you or treat you unfairly. Instead, raise your concerns in a professional way or even suggest for a shift when there is much to be done.
No matter the relationship between you and your boss, you should always be vigilant about what you say. Just because your boss is on the wrong does not mean you keep on pushing back. Be a smart employee and watch out what you say to your boss. Never let your words jeopardize your job.