It’s important to think before you speak when it comes to the workplace, especially when your boss is involved. One minor mistake or wrong statement can do major damage to your career. Here are five phrases you should never, ever, utter in the office.

“I don’t know.”
Allyson Rees, co-founder of The Politesse, a career and etiquette website says that if your boss is asking you a question, it’s probably because he doesn’t have an answer and is hoping you could help. Instead of saying "I don’t know," Rees suggests you respond with "I don’t know, but I’ll find out." This shows your honesty about the situation and your willingness to come up with a solution.

“Well, I did my best.
Be careful when saying this phrase. If you made a mistake and make this remark, it speaks a lot about your abilities–or lack thereof. Respond with “I’ll get it right next time” instead. It sounds better and highlights your effort to improve your work.

“Do you really think you should do that?”
This bold statement makes it seem like you're questioning your boss’ abilities and better judgment. "Don’t try to teach your boss something they learned the first day on the job,” says Kristin Newman, screenwriter for That '70s Show, Chuck, and How I Met Your Mother. You can give suggestions but never doubt his authority.

“But we’re used to doing it this way.”
Working with a new boss requires a lot of adjustments, as he may have different ideas and strategies when it comes to dealing with specific situations. If you’re doubtful about your boss’ new way of handling things, keep an open mind. Don’t shoot down new ideas, but come up with additional recommendations on how to get the job done.

“I’m swamped. Can't it wait?”
It’s important to manage your responsibilities well. Never tell your boss that you’re busy to administer to the company’s needs. Instead of telling him to wait, ask him what you should prioritize more so you could work around the important deadlines you need to meet.


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