Have you ever had one of those bosses that just irk you for absolutely no reason, and you can’t quite put your finger on “Why?” Listen to those gut instincts, because chances are, they’re using subliminally manipulative language to get you to prioritize the company over your own wants, desires and interests.
Many bosses have figured out key phrases that guilt you into thinking the office is the only place worthy of your attention. Who needs a social life, family or friends, right?Umm, wrong! If you hear any of these things, don’t fall prey to Mr. Bossman’s (or Bosslady’s) potentially selfish intentions.
- “Work is your family.”Using such a personal phrase makes you less likely to speak up against any bad decisions that the company makes. Afterall, who wants to tattle on their grandpa?
- “I need you to be available at any time.”Technology allows us to work from anywhere which means some bosses think you should ALWAYS be working. You DO have the RIGHT to spend your free time out of reach from your employer. Don’t let them guilt you into thinking otherwise.
- “Everything is fine.”A boss that offers vague praise but never any real feedback for you to learn from, is someone to keep your eye on. These are the types who say the company is doing fine, even when layoffs and budgets-in-the-red say otherwise. They say “everything is fine” just to keep you working when there are no real opportunities for you to grow or ever reap any rewards.
- “That’s not my problem.”Any boss who says this, is someone who absolutely does NOT care about helping their employees. In turn, you feel silenced and discouraged from discussing future issues or concerns with your boss. Who wants to work with someone like that?!
- “This is how we’ve always done it.”Basically, this phrase comes from a boss who only enforces the rules, and does not have the authority, desire or creativity to change them. They are mindlessly following the status quo with an old way of doing things even though the world is advancing all around them.
- “Don’t you agree?”This is a phrase that bosses use to make it sound like they want your opinion while actually signaling that you should nod, smile and keep your mouth shut. They do not want to be challenged and this phrase usually makes employees to uncomfortable to do so. If they really cared about your opinion, they would instead ask, “What do you think?”
We’ve all worked at a job- or for a boss- a little longer than we should have. But hopefully these phrases will make you think twice about quietly nodding and agreeing in that next staff meeting. If you have ideas,speak up! If you have concerns, don’t be silenced.That’s what they’re hoping you’ll do, so don’t give them the satisfaction if you have something important to say.