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7 bloopers that make a boss cringe

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training

These seven phrases won’t get an admin noticed—at least, not in a good way, says Dave Willmer, the executive director of OfficeTeam.

He recently compiled a list (in Computerworld magazine) of the words your manager doesn’t want to hear:

1. “Just a heads-up ... I won’t be able to finish the project that’s due tomorrow.” You’re not on track to hit a deadline? Better give your boss a warning long before the situation becomes critical. With enough notice, most savvy managers can work around a schedule snag.

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2. “That’s not in my job description.” Whether it’s doing a job typically reserved for a co-worker or cleaning out the refrigerator because it smells rank, a pitch-in-and-help attitude is what managers need during a time of doing more with less.

3. “So that’s what you wanted? Whoops!” It’s better to ask for clarification at the outset, even if you fear looking stupid. What he wants, ultimately, is the task executed as he envisions. Get clear on that vision.

Bonus tip: Show that you’re thinking strategically. Ask a question that clarifies the purpose behind the task, not just the activities themselves.

4. “Dave’s being a jerk. Tell him to stop.” Have you stepped outside your comfort zone to speak directly with your co-worker about the issue? Before you drag your boss into an interpersonal dispute—no matter how annoying—be sure you’ve exhausted all other routes.

Mastering Office Politics covers every aspect of workplace survival, from climbing the career ladder to dismounting it on your terms. Divided into six sections that cover more than 99 workplace situations, Mastering Office Politics helps you navigate those shark-infested waters — and, if you need to, grow shark’s teeth of your own. Learn More...

5. “I hate to say this, but Tom is the cause of the project’s failure.” Unless your manager asks you about a co-worker’s performance, avoid assigning blame to others. Bottom line: It makes you look difficult to work with.

6. “Will you be my Facebook friend?” You may be on friendly terms with your boss, but it isn’t wise to blur the boundary between your work and personal life. If you want to connect with your boss online, keep the venue professional, such as LinkedIn.

7. “I didn’t think you needed to know.” When in doubt about whether to raise an issue, put yourself in your boss’s shoes: Would you want to know about it? Will raising it help your team meet its objectives? Even telling your boss that a project is running smoothly can be helpful, since it lets him or her know you’ve got everything under control.

Whether you’re a man or a woman ... 26 and hoping to rise, or 66 and not yet ready to fall ... a foot soldier with dreams of becoming a captain, or a captain with dreams of becoming a general ... Mastering Office Politics can help you —
  • Make more money ...
  • Rise to greater heights ...
  • Protect your flanks ...
  • Lower workplace stress ...
  • And MUCH more ...

More mergers, downsizing, and cutbacks ahead ... even bankruptcies? As the financial crisis rips through our economy, things seem almost certain to get worse. Best to do everything you can to protect your own situation — by ordering Mastering Office Politics now!

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