Your relationship with your boss is one of the most important ones you have at work. Your success depends heavily on your value to them and your ability to get along with them. That said, it’s not uncommon for some employees to accidentally insult their manager in the course of their day to day interactions. Here are a few easy mistakes you can make that can really put a wrench in your relationship with your boss.
1. Be Careful When Correcting Them
This is especially true when in a public setting. Nobody likes to be made to feel stupid in front of others. In fact, it’s quite insulting to have your employee correct you, even if the employee is right. So rather than making them look bad in a public situation, show your value by bringing up your point in a gentler fashion, or by mentioning it to your boss when you two are alone. The important thing to consider is this, are you correcting them in order to do your job better? Or are you correcting them just to show them they are wrong, and you are right? You don’t always have to be the one to correct them. It might be worth letting someone else make that mistake.
2. Respect Their Time
If you are late frequently, it is a clear sign of disrespect. Even if you are very busy, your boss is very busy too. Respect them and respect their time by being punctual and communicating any schedule changes clearly and before it is a hassle for them to change their schedule to accommodate you.
3. Avoid Being Disruptive
Meetings are challenging enough without having to deal with disruptive team members. If that disruptive team member is you, chances are that you are insulting your boss without even meaning to. Avoid getting too far off topic in conversations. Don’t distract or disrupt other coworkers when they need to be focusing on something else. You don’t always need to be the center of attention, so be mindful of how you may be swaying or distracting from important topics at hand in a group setting.
4. Don’t Pry
A key part of being professional is to not dig into other people’s personal lives without their permission. Trying to learn about their personal life when they aren’t open can be quite insulting, especially for someone who is in a leadership position to you. Respect people’s right to privacy, don’t pry or ask too many questions when it is clear they are not interested in sharing. That’s especially important from a boss’s perspective because maintaining a boundary of respectful interaction with employees is critical. When things get personal, it can get complicated in terms of employment law very fast. Stay respectful, don’t pry. If your boss isn’t offering up details of their private life, that’s fine. You can find other ways to connect on a meaningful level that they are more comfortable with.
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