6.5 Common Phrases That Will Make Your Boss Hate You (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

No matter what you think about your boss, he/she has a significant impact on the future of your career.  As a result, it is wise to stay on your boss’ good side.  There are certain phrases that drive all bosses crazy.  Make sure you NEVER say any of the following 6.5 phrases to your boss, no matter how tempting it might be.

  1. “Sorry, I’ve been busy.”  One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone uses the “busy” excuse as a reason for not doing something, especially if the task was something that could have been done in a matter of minutes.  Guess what?  Everyone is busy!  We all have 24 hours in a day.  No more and no less.  Being “busy” is never an acceptable excuse at work.
  2. “I’ll try my best.”  What the heck does that mean?!  Your boss doesn’t want you to “try your best.”  Your boss wants you to get it done! 
  3. “That’s not part of my job.”  When I worked for the NBA’s Washington Wizards, one of my colleagues actually raised his hand during a staff meeting and said this to our Vice President in regard to a new policy.  I thought our boss’ head was going to explode.  However, he responded professionally by saying that part of the employee’s job description included “other duties as assigned.”  Note: Saying “That’s not part of my job” to your boss, in front of the entire staff, is not a good way to advance your career…
  4.  “Why do I have to do this?”  Do you want to know why?  Because your boss said so, that’s why!
  5. “Sorry, I forgot.”  I hate to break it to you, but you are not allowed to “forget” to do things at work, unless you want the company to “forget” to keep paying you.  Use your Outlook Calendar or some other system to remind yourself of what needs to be done.
  6. “I didn’t know that’s what you wanted.”  Get clarity on any project or task BEFORE you start.  Your boss does not expect you to be able to read his mind, but he expects you to ask what he wants if you are not sure. 

6.5   “You are an idiot.”  This is not good to say to your boss either…even if it is true! 

What else should you never say to your boss?  Please comment below, and I may reference you and your idea in my job search and career advice book due out in spring 2012 through The American Management Association.  Just keep it respectable. 🙂

P.S. To learn more about my speaking availability for The 2011 or 2012 Dream Job College Tour, please visit www.IdealizeNow.com or send an email to Pete@IdealizeNow.com.

-Pete Leibman

-President of Idealize Enterprises

-Creator of The Dream Job College Tour

Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day

www.IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

Blog: http://CareerMuscles.Wordpress.com

Twitter: @peteleibman

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Explore posts in the same categories: Attitude, Dealing With Your Boss, Professional Relationships, Promotions

3 Comments on “6.5 Common Phrases That Will Make Your Boss Hate You (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)”


  1. “I never done that before.” There’s nothing worse than telling your supervisor that you aren’t willing to take on and learn new things. How will you grow, both personally and professionally, if you’re not willing to even try?

  2. Pete Leibman Says:

    Thanks, JoAnn. Great addition!


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