Your boss is not your friend. 

Many will find this statement agreeable, but some others often overlook this point when they get too familiar with their bosses. No matter how close or friendly you are with your employers, a boss is a boss. Manager Joelle Zarcone in her article said that she likes her employees but she does not want to be their friend. There are a number of reasons why managers do not want to befriend their subordinates. 

  • It will be more challenging to manage the team and enforce rules. 
  • Being a friend can open up the potential of favouritism which can endanger the team collaboration
  • It can be difficult to provide honest feedback to a friend. 

Those are the reasons why managers do not want to befriend employees, and here are some good reasons why your boss should stay to be your boss and NOT your friend. 

  • Friends do not require a progress report, while your boss needs it. Without the report, there is a good chance you will not develop professionally in your career. 
  • Managers also play as a role model and leader, while friends are there to support you, not to be your role model. 
  • Managers will always try to change your behaviours and habits to suit the company culture. Friends will accept you as you are. 
  • Friends are equal to each other but your boss is superior to you even if they might be younger than you. 

All in all, if you treat your boss as a friend, you might end up losing the opportunity to progress professionally – which you don’t want, right? 

Now that you understand why your boss should be as they are, you should always treat and speak professionally to them. Your boss might be friendly but maintaining your professionalism will save your future in the company – besides, what has been said could never be taken back. Aside from the obvious, like profanity and insults, here are 5 phrases you should never say to your boss, even if they are super friendly: 

1. “I just can’t stand working with…..”

This statement will backfire at you. You might think that complaining about your colleague is going to get him into your boss’ bad books. But that is not true because complaining about your colleague will most likely ruin your reputation rather than his.

2. “It’s not my fault…”

Your boss is going to see you as a childish 6-year-old if you were to make such a statement. Take full responsibility for the mistake you have made. Even if it is not your fault, avoid saying this. Take an active role to be part of the solution instead.

3. “I can’t……”

When you are not able to complete certain tasks that your boss hands you, never say you cannot do it. You might be in a situation where you have other tasks at hand. Explain the situation to your boss and ask which is more important.

4. “That isn’t my job….”

The tasks asked of you might not be limited to what is in the job description. As long as it is asked of you, it is part of your job.

5. “I emailed you about it last week.”

Your responsibility does not end when you have sent that email to your boss. When you do not get a reply, it is your duty to follow up on the matter.

6. “That’s impossible.” 

Your boss does not want to hear negativity or lack of conviction; most likely they do not even want to hear you complaining about problems over and over again. Thus, if you have concerns, state what they are and ask for input. 

7. “No” 

This is just a plain word of rejection but it could affect your job in many ways. Your cooperation is expected and so is a polite tone. Even if you and your boss tend to joke around, telling him no is inappropriate. It is better to say that you have a matter that is more critical to be done first and that you can handle it later. 

One important note to remember when you speak with your boss is think before you speak. 

Read also: Student-to-Employee Transition: What Can You Learn from an Internship? 

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