October 26, 2016

Want Good Appraisal or Promotion, Never Say These Words To Your Boss

No doubt, we have always been told in various training sessions that - at workplace, honesty is the best policy. But Hay !, every rule has its exceptions, so does this one has. 
Sure, there are a lot of things that you feel like telling to you boss or saying to your boss, but its always good to be cautious and pause before blurting out something you might regret to examine what you're trying to achieve and the likely reaction you'll get from your boss. 
Best way is to take that little pause, before you miss it, shape your thoughts, crystallize them into a more palatable and professional dialogue and then speak it, if necessary.
Trust me on this, that, if you think or your gut says that you may regret something then listen to your gut because there are higher chances that you will probably do. 
There are some obvious things where you must dissect the little things in your interactions because even the slightest slip-up could make or break your career.

Aside from the obvious insulting or profaning words or phrases, here are some more, that you should add to your dictionary of never speak this to your boss because these can cost not only your appraisal or promotion but your job too : 

I cannot or I can't : 
Its good to avoid "I cannot" or "I can't " attitude because it displays lack of confidence and unwillingness, while both are important for you to endear you to your management. So, learn to have "can-do" attitude, that is always a valued trait.  

"I don't know"   OR   "I don't have a solution"
Never, ever say 'I don't know' to your boss. If your boss ask you something, its because he/she trusts you and your capabilities to find an answer. 
Its alright to not have the answer to every question, or solution to every problem, but your best guess and a promise to find out is much better than a shrug of the shoulders. So, even if you don't know the answer, tell them you will find out and get back to them.
Don't tell the boss about problems without presenting potential solutions. Remember, leaders talk about solutions; followers talk about the problems, so, if you are looking fro a promotion then you need to show leaders' attributes.

'I'll try'
Imagine,, if you ask your boss to put good remarks in your performance appraisal sheet and he/she responding you "I'll try". The same happens if your boss asks you to do something and you respond with "I'll try. 
This response leaves your boss feeling unsure, and when assignments are given, your boss is counting on you, usually with specific deadlines.

"I'm not paid enough to do that"still....
You are right, you were just trying to be little funny, or just passing a hint to your boss that your appraisal is awaited or you need a raise as you are more capable, but these phrases are highly inappropriate and unprofessional, and signals your boss that you're not willing to go above and beyond. Remember, nothing goes unnoticed in corporate culture. 

 "That's not part of my job" but..... OR    "It dosn't count in my KRAs, but...."
No job description or KRAs are ever set in stone. As cross-functional teams remain the order of the day, you're expected to be flexible and make your boss's life easier. 
Saying that you're not willing to go beyond your role shows that you are also not willing to pitch in for the success of the company.
Also, the more skill sets you accumulate, the more indispensable you are. 

'How do I benefit from this?'   OR   "What's in it if for me?"
There will always be some situations, where you will be required to help your co-workers or colleagues from your department or others. It may look like you are not getting any direct benefits from it or it may not be counted in your achievement. 
Let me tell you, performing these tasks will create your image as a team player and flexible person as well as demonstrate your other skills. Not only it will help you in being an irreplaceable asset, but will help you in bagging a good appraisal too. Also, there is always a very little room for those who are not a team player or are rigid in corporates. 

That's not what I heard
Grapevine communication is good, but avoid gossips and conjecture. It can backfire anytime. So, if you're not sure about something, wait before you risk appearing unprofessional.

"I'm sorry, but ..."  OR  "Well, I did my best, but.... "
The caveat essentially cancels any genuine apologetic sentiment. Avoid putting that BUT after saying sorry. This is a cop-out. If you made a mistake and that was your best, that doesn't speak highly of your abilities. The better response is that you'll get it right next time. 
A straight, 'I'm sorry. I'll be much more aware of this next time' is the expected response by your boss when you mess up.

"My breakup has got me all messed up. My heart's just not in it today."
Yes, you are emotionally hurt, but why your boss or your company should put work on hold for that. 
Keep your personal problems away from your job and vice-versa. Who on the earth, doesn't has personal problem. Making a cocktail of your personal problems with your job will make you look like an unprofessional. 
It better to take leave and catch up work next day rather than mourning at work or call your family for some love, affection and tenderness. 

"I'll leave" or  "I'll resign"
'Fine, the organization was running without you and will continue without you again,...' is the actual hidden response of the management when you threaten to resign. Don't have that attitude, even if you know that you are irreplaceable, because it will harness your image.  
It's totally unprofessional, and company will consider you a flight risk, after this statement. 

I've tried that before...
Encountering a problem you have tried to solve before but couldn't solve. Don't go straight saying, "I have tried that before......" 
Alternatively, explain that you appreciate the suggestion and tried solutions A, B and C with such and such as outcomes, but you would be glad to try something more effective and give it one more shot. Who knows, you may find a new angle or your boss might have planned something good for you, when asked you again. Remember what I told earlier - "nothing goes unnoticed..".
Being or looking like lazy doesn't sound good in corporate world. Even your bosses prefer you to be active and have very little tolerance for laziness. 

'I just assumed that ...'
To err is human, but to defer blame is a career killer. That phrase causes frustration for many bosses, as they'd rather hear that you made an error in judgment and learned from it instead of excuses. Bosses prefer - You going asking or taking double confirmation from therm in case of any confusion rather than assuming and messing things up. 

It's really not my fault; it's his or hers.....'
The blame game has always been a treacherous path. Explain your innocence but avoid implicating it on others.
If its your mistake, then take the responsibility. Also, your image as 'someone always pointing fingers to others, will eventually put you in jeopardy. 

'If I don't hear from you, I'll just do ...'
Remember what I said earlier, "Don't threaten the management or Boss. " 
It's better to wait than be admonished later as consequences. 

'[Your predecessor] did this differently/better....'
Imagine you being compared to your predecessor for your ways of doing your job. 
The same happens if you directly or indirectly compare your new boss to the previous one. 
Remember, there is a hairline difference between informing about previous way of performing a task and comparing the process. 
Bosses usually feel that their methods will be preferred over their predecessors by subordinates, because they now hold the position.
Unless a method is clearly a mistake, don't challenge your boss with the 'old ways of doing things' just because they made things easier for you or you are in habit of the old ways. 
Also, there is a benefit of learning new ways or skills. 

'I can't work with him/her.....'
You are not in high school of in-house game anymore. Not being a team player is unacceptable in the workplace, said it earlier too.
On the other hand, when in spite of all odds, you cooperate, it proves that you are capable of getting beyond personality conflicts in the interest of delivering excellent results.

He / She a jerk
Here is it, simple and straight. This has no redeeming value, but can harness your image. 

Why does he / she always ...?'
I learned this rule in my post graduation, when someone pointed at me, and questioned the project faculty, "Why he always.... "
The faculty answered, "If you have the gripe, that you have never demonstrated in last couple of months, you can have it. With the responsibility and accountability." 
I see the same in current corporate culture. If you think that, someone is being preferred for certain tasks, first ask yourself, Why ?. 
If you know that, you have a gripe, then ask how you can attain a certain privilege and leave others out of the discussion.

'I'll speak with your boss about this?' or  "I want to speak with HR about this first..."
Going over your boss's head challenges authority and is usually a no-win situation. Its a different situation if you're about to quit or have notice from your boss and have no other recourse.
Also, if you're going to HR, why to threaten in advance.

"I'm bored"
You're being paid to be productive and remain enthusiastic. It's your responsibility to find ways to make your job interesting. You can get monotonous or bored with routine, but why to share it with your boss. Be creative, find ways to keep yourself motivated and enthusiastic.  

"I've gotta tell you about last night's hookup!"
Seriously !!!
Agreed that, sometimes a boss-subordinate relationship blossoms into a friendship. But sharing intimate stories at work may not be a wise move.
What if someone overhears the sizzling conversation and opens mouth to someone else. 

"Why does he/she has better appraisal than me ?"
Unless you are witnessing blatant favoritism,  focus on your own career, not the salary or promotions of others.
Also, If that's the case, you can opt for a more professional discussion once you've collected your thoughts about the facts.

"I'm pretty busy. Can it wait?"   OR    "I don't have time"
You should never say that to your boss, it undermines your own significance. This statement positions you as someone who is lacking. It has to be 'I Can' or 'I Will' always. Even if you are neck-deep in work try taking out sometime and do that extra work.
It's your responsibility to ask your boss if priorities have changed, as your objectives must stay aligned with your manager's. "Priorities are rarely stagnant, so as in most cases, your better option is to ask if you should reshuffle them," she recommends.

"That's impossible"
Your boss doesn't want to hear negativity or a lack of conviction. If you have concerns, state what they are and ask for input.
One of the best approaches in deciding whether to share your thoughts with your boss or ask sensitive questions is to put yourself in their shoes. Do your comments and questions reflect a positive, can-do, and confident demeanor? 
Remember loose lips sink ships ­— so choose your words carefully when you feel challenged at work if you want to thrive in your career.

"Can I leave early today since things are slow?"
It's fine if you have to leave early. But don't say that you want to leave only because "things are slow" or you have "nothing to do."
There are always more projects in the pipeline. Bosses want you to show initiative. Look to them. 
However, if you really have to leave early, ask your boss honestly for short leave. 

"I'm going to be out these days...." or  "I'm leaving early tomorrow....."
Don't tell your boss you're going on vacation or leaving the office early. You will sound like a child. Ask or politely run it by them like, "I was planning to take a day off on Friday to Tuesday and wanted to make sure that was okay with you."  It's far more professional.

"That's not how we used to operate"    OR    "At my last job we did it this way"
No comparisons, stated earlier. More than pointing a finger on the operational capabilities of the current boss, it shows you in a bad light. Your boss will feel you are rigid and not flexible and adaptable.

'You're wrong'
Openly criticizing or pointing out your boss's mistake is a sure way to be excluded from future meetings or ignored the next time you raise your hand to speak.
If you feel your boss has made an error, there are better ways of addressing this. 
For e.g., "I may be misinformed on this one, but I was under the impression that ......" This prompts them to reconsider and correct the information if necessary without putting up their defenses. Whatever phrase you use, say it with a helpful and cordial tone.

No, Nah etc...
Your cooperation is expected, and so is a polite tone. "Telling your boss 'no' is a challenge — and is sometimes necessary — but it can be inappropriate if you don't phrase it well with an explanation.
For example, if your boss wants you to work on some other project and your hands are already full, don't say a blunt NO. 
Instead, try, "I am working on the (task, you are on )company presentation, that you asked me to make, it will be a challenge to focus on two projects at the same time."

I can't believe what you did...
Bosses are also humans and can make mistakes. Bad decisions or good you should not pass any derogatory comments for your bosses. You can always critique and idea and put your views based on experience in a polite way before decision is made, but after it has been done, your critique will be seen as negative.
Post By - Alok Upadhayay 

Image Source : Google.com



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