8 Things You Should NEVER Say To Your Boss

Samantha Zabell from Real Simple, talks about the sentences that you should eliminate from your office vocabulary.

“I don’t know how to do that.”

Irina Baranov, executive coach and business strategist, says, “this statement shows  drive, creativity or professionalism”. Of course, sometimes we don’t know how to do things, but you should attempt to figure things out on your own before you ask for help.

“We bought a new house, so I need a raise.”

“It has absolutely nothing to do with the merit of your work, it has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of what you’re giving your employer,” says career coach Robin Ryan. Salaries and promotions are based on your contribution to the company and not your personal need for compensation. When negotiating, highlight your strengths and accomplishments – leave your personal needs out of the discussion.


“Since you’ve fired all those people, I’m doing double the work.”

Ryan says that everyone feels the burden and stress when there’s a cut from your team. The work load increases and it affects everyone. Ask your boss for help in prioritizing your to-do list so that they understand the how big your workload is.


“Jane feels the same way.”

Strength in numbers is not a strategy that works in this situation. “Gossip is the worst thing possible,” says Ryan. “It makes them feel ganged up on.”


“That’s not how the old boss used to do it.”

Ouch.  “The new boss is going to feel like you’re stuck in your ways,” Ryan says. “You’re not flexible or adaptable.” Explain to your boss that due to the change in the system, you need some time to learn how your new boss would like things done. “In the end this is the person that is going to affect whether you get promoted, whether you get a good evaluation, or whether you keep your job,” says Ryan.


“I don’t have time to get that done.”

“By saying what you can’t do, you position yourself as someone who is lacking,” says Baranov. “It’s much better to take a position of ‘I can!’” If you’re feeling overloaded, ask for extra direction or help managing your priorities rather than writing it off immediately. You won’t feel stressed about needing to get everything finished all at once.


“I get so much more done during the day than Jane.”

This doesn’t help anyone in anyway. “No two human beings are exactly alike, so comparing yourself to Jane is just asking for trouble,” says Baranov. “You have no idea about all the variables that are different between you and Jane. You just can’t ever say that you’re exactly like someone else so you should earn what he or she earns.” Focus on your own worth and value of your work and let your boss know that you’re eager to take on more responsibility at the company.


“I’m sorry, but I was hoping to get a 10 percent raise this year.”

“Apologies should be saved for when you do something wrong,” says Baranov. “Asking for a certain salary is not wrong. It’s your right and responsibility as a professional to have that conversation. No apologies.”