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What to say when …

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in Office Management

Your boss criticizes you for someone else’s mistake

“As I understand it, you’re primarily irritated because the report included faulty information. [Let boss confirm, then continue.] Well, I’m battling with the same frustration on my end. Like you, I rely on the information that’s given to me. I cannot control when it’s wrong, and I wind up passing along incorrect data to you. Sure, I take full responsibility, and I accept your criticism. I also have some suggestions to solve this for the future. But first, do you have any ideas how I can make sure this doesn’t happen again?”

You’re trying to negotiate discounted rates from a vendor

“While I appreciate all your help, I’m held accountable for sticking to a strict budget. I don’t have any flexibility, and I’ve already tried everything to come up with more to spend. Even though your price seems fair, I can’t pay it as-is. Without some flexibility, I’ll have to go to Plan B and come up with a different way to get this taken care of. While I’d prefer to work with you and give you my ongoing business and referrals, I completely understand if you cannot meet my budget. Can you help me come up with a way to make this happen?”

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