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What Not to Say to Your Manager

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  • 0:00 What You Say Matters
  • 0:31 Phrases to Avoid
  • 3:04 What Can Be Said?
  • 4:23 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rachel Shipley

Rachel has worked with several businesses developing policies on customer experience and administration.

In this lesson, we will discuss tips on how employees can build a better relationship with their manager by steering clear of things that bosses hate to hear. This lesson provides a list of things that should not be said, and a list of phrases bosses love to hear.

What You Say Matters

Did you know that the average American says over 12,000 words per day? Of those words, a majority of them are spoken at work, and a majority of those words are used to convey your opinions or thoughts to others. What you say is important, and how you say it is just as important. Being thoughtful and taking a moment to think about what you really are trying to say before you verbalize it will help you develop a better relationship with your manager.

Phrases To Avoid

Let's take a look at a few phrases that your manager does not like to hear from employees. By avoiding these, you'll improve your relationship much more quickly.

That's not how we did it at my old job.
Nobody likes a know-it-all. Your old company may have had better processes that could greatly benefit your current company. Consider rephrasing comments like this. Instead of making a statement that implies your past company did things better, or different, turn it into a less confrontational question.

_____ isn't doing his job.
Your mom didn't like when you were a tattle tail, and neither does your boss. Believe me, if 'John' isn't doing his job, your manager doesn't need you to state the obvious. Managers may not see it at first, but eventually it becomes very clear that an employee isn't pulling his/her weight. The best thing you can do is put your nose to the ground and work hard so that your manager sees how hard you are working and not that you are distracted by what your colleagues are or aren't doing.

How'd I do?
When you fish for compliments, it can stall your career. Employers hire people because they are confident, possess the skills needed to complete the job, and are self-starters. They do not want to have to constantly pat you on the back for doing a good job at the job they hired you for. That is what your paycheck is for. Having a need for constant approval will cause a boss to think of you as an insecure, needy employee that needs manager approval for every move you make. Employers ultimately want to hire people that take initiative and get the ball rolling without being asked.

That's not my job.
When have you ever seen a job description that has covered every single task that would encompass your job? Often times, positions evolve depending on the skills and qualities an employee possesses. Flexibility is something that will help further your career because you show a can-do attitude that will essentially make your manager's life easier. Keep in mind that the more responsibilities you take, the more indispensable you become to the company. When you give the line of, 'That's not my job,' what you are really saying is that you are not willing to step up to the plate to contribute for the success of the company.

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