5 Things You Should Never Say to Your Boss

You don’t have to be best friends with your boss to have a successful career in architecture. With that said, your boss is key figure in your growth as a designer as well as in your career. You’ll probably never achieve your goals if you become enemies, so it’s important to maintain a positive, professional relationship with them. Always remember that what you’re doing on the job is just as important as what you’re saying. There are some common phrases that can be detrimental to your relationship with your manager. Here are five things you should never say to your boss.

1. “That’s a dumb idea.”

An idea might not seem too clever at first, but one thing that you have to realize that your boss has to consider many different scenarios to determine what’s best for the firm and its clients. A better approach is collaborating with your boss to brainstorm and solve problems creatively. Always offer a solution!

2. “That won’t work.”

Unless you can provide evidence of the results, your boss didn’t hire you to make predictions concerning what will and won’t work. You’ll only develop a reputation for being lazy by not accepting their suggestions. In creative disciplines like architecture and interior design, it’s important to have an open mind and an enthusiastic attitude. Always offer a solution!

3. “I can’t.”

The cardinal rule in design, or any other career, is that you want to make your manager’s life easier, not harder. Besides, there’s a fine line between not knowing how to do something and simply refusing to do it. Instead of saying that you can’t do it, tell your boss that you are excited about learning new skills but you want the quality to be up to par, so you’d benefit from some training and guidance. This will show them that you’re driven and motivated. Always offer a solution!

4. “That’s not my problem (or my department).”

Another common one is “that’s above my pay grade.” Even if you’re just trying to be funny or sarcastic, phrases like this are an indicator of an unprofessional attitude. Accepting additional duties is a great way to show your boss that they can count on you to go above and beyond to finish a project. You’re more likely to receive a promotion or salary increase if you’re willing to jump in to get things done. Always offer a solution!

5. “It’s not my fault.”

Rising to the top of this industry requires plenty of accountability. Accepting blame when making mistakes is the key to building trust and showing your boss that you are a team player. Never shirk your responsibility or try to but the blame on someone else. Always offer a solution!

While this list isn’t exhaustive, it includes some expressions that you definitely want to avoid using with your boss even if you’re using them jokingly. Focus on more constructive ways to communicate with them by keeping an open mind, respecting their chain of command, accepting feedback, and always offer a solution.


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