5 Things You Should (Almost) Never Tell Your Boss

In an ideal world, you should always have an open and honest relationship with your boss.

In the real world, we’re human, and our bosses are human. And sometimes humans don’t know what to do with a bit of information.

In today’s day and age of sharing everything publicly, we can easily forget that there the TM in TMI stands for too much. There are things your boss doesn’t need to know about you, so mums the word.

Here are five things you should (almost) never tell your boss. I’ll point out a few exceptions below.

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6 thoughts on “5 Things You Should (Almost) Never Tell Your Boss

  1. Your coworker who never helps with inventory could also have an ADA reasonable accommodation about not doing inventory because of an invisible disability (arthritis or inability to stand for a long time, or bend and stoop) that prevents them from doing inventory.

    The time to tell your boss about a coworker who is not doing something illegal is not to tell on the coworker but simply say “I cannot finish x unless coworker gives me a and coworker is always late, or does a wrong all the time.” IE when it absolutely causes problems for your own work product. And not in a way that is “coworker is a meany lazy whatever,” just “I need this and I’m not getting it what do you suggest?”

  2. A variation on #5: a new (female) project admin had to travel with her new (female) boss and of course they stayed in a hotel. When they returned, admin and I were reviewing some project documents and she told me how upset she was with her boss. Apparently they had stopped at the hotel bar for a drink, sitting at the bar itself. Guy comes up and starts hitting on admin. Admin starts flirting back. Boss gets up and leaves. Admin is upset that boss left. “I can’t believe she left! She should have had my back in case this thing with the guy didn’t work out! Friends just don’t do that to friends!”

    I gently pointed out to her that this was her boss, not a friend. That when you are with boss, it’s like you are at work. The drink together was okay, but the flirting was out of bounds. I also pointed out that boss may have been embarrassed by such overt ‘leading to a hookup’ flirting. (She had admitted that that was her goal.) That this was way too much TMI for boss, especially for a new employee.

    I will say she took my comments well, but did seem surprised by them. And she was not new to the corporate world. She only stayed on a couple more months.

  3. #! “Do you honestly think that all you need to do is say, “You are a horrible boss! You should do A, B, and C!” and your boss will go, “Oh, she’s right! I better change right now!” No, that never happens.”

    And yet, this is what so many “performance reviews” are all about. “You are a horrible employee. You should do A, B,, and C.” (You talk too much, you need to speak up in meetings, you need to take on this task, you need to give up that task, you need to smile more, be nicer to Fred, get off the phone, get on the phone…)

  4. What do you think about this new app Medusa (dare to ask?) that managers are starting to use to get feedback from their teams? Seems better than Survey Monkey, as people can respond to the other’s feedback, yet still anonymous? Some HR people think anonymous feedback is not good, as it still avoids the fierce conversation. Thoughts?

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