Everybody has a boss. Even if we “work for yourself,” we’re still an employee to our client.

A big part of maintaining the boss-employee relationship is to never allow a boss to think you dislike your work, are incapable of doing it, or worse consider it beneath you.

These sound like no-brainers, but many statements heard commonly around the workplace violate these basic rules. Looking for an example? Here are five heard in workplaces all the time. They may seem ordinary, even harmless. But try reading these from your boss’s point of view. You’ll see right away why it’s smart to never allow these five sentences to pass your lips:

IT’S NOT MY PROBLEM. When people say something is not their problem it makes them look like they don’t care. This does not endear them to anybody, especially the boss. If a problem is brewing and you have nothing constructive to say, it’s better to say nothing at all. Even better is to pitch in and try to help. Because, ultimately, a problem in the workplace is everyone’s problem. We’re all in it together.

IT’S NOT MY FAULT. Yet another four words to be avoided. Human nature is weird. Claiming that something is not our fault often has the result of making people suspect it is. Besides, what’s the real issue here? It’s that something went wrong and needs to be fixed. That’s what people should be thinking about—not who is to blame.

I CAN ONLY DO ONE THING AT A TIME. Complaining you are overworked will not make your boss feel sorry for you or go easier on you. Everybody, especially nowadays, feels pressured and overworked. If you’re trying to be funny, please note that some sarcasm is funny and lightens the mood. Some just ticks people off.

THIS JOB IS EASY! ANYONE COULD DO IT! Maybe what you’re trying to convey here is that you’re so brilliant and your work is easy. If a task is simple, be glad and do it as quickly as you can. Even stupid work needs to get done.

IT CAN’T BE DONE. Saying something can’t be done is like waving a red flag in a boss’ eyes. Even if the thing being suggested truly is impossible, saying it can make you look ineffectual or incapable. Better to play detective.

Last words: When in doubt, remember that silence really is golden.

Reference: Flame, 7 Things Never to Say to Your Boss, Corinne Grace Manalo

Latest posts by Teacher Laila M. Carlos