"Think before you speak". Surely, you’ve heard of this age-old adage. As cliched as the phrase sounds, it’s always a good policy to keep in mind when you’re in the office. Your boss and you can be the best of buddies, but you should always be mindful of your words. Don’t hamper your career because you couldn’t keep your mouth in check.
1. "It wasn’t me."You’re not a whiny child, you’re a working professional. If the problem is caused by you, take responsibility and propose solutions to solve the problem. Similarly, simply avoiding responsibility when you’re wrongly blamed for a problem will just worsen the situation. Better to step up and ask "What can we do to make it right?"
2. "I need more money."
It’s not wise to go into salary negotiations talking about what you need like rising costs and new expenses. Your boss will not be interested in your financial issues. Companies are more inclined to reward high-performing employees so if you would like to request for a raise, come prepared with evidence of how you have helped the company. Having an idea about the average salary of people with a similar position as you will also be helpful. At the end of the day though, it shouldn’t be all about you but what you can offer.
3. "I can’t work with him/her anymore"
Managing conflicts with your colleagues is not your boss’s problem. Complaining about a colleague in front of everyone can end up reflecting poorly on you. Be sure to offer constructive and professional feedback instead of personal feuds when speaking to your management or HR department.
4. "I don’t know."
"Let me find out right away and get back to you" suggests that you’re proactive. "I don’t know" just tells your boss that you’re too lazy to even try – reflecting badly on your work attitude.
5. "But we’ve always done it this way."
Always be open to new ideas. Just because something has been done a very long time in the exact same manner doesn’t mean that it’s the best way to go about it. If you have doubts about the practicability of a new idea, don’t simply kill it off by being negative. Offer solutions and counter-proposals instead.
About Keith Lim
Keith is on the FRANK team at OCBC. He enjoys taking long walks, watching movies in bed, and instagramming every now and then. You can find him @fivefreeminutes.