Things your manager shouldn’t tell you

Although there are plenty of books on the market about business relationships, work etiquette and qualities leaders should have, the reality is quite different. Even the worst manager is a source from whom you can learn, if you decide not to make the same mistakes once you end up in their position. Nevertheless, there are some sideslips that can’t be so easily overlooked and you find yourself trying to coup with your manager’s leadership style.

  • “You’re not here to think, you’re here to work”. Well, if you were a little robot in a factory, maybe so. But you are a human being with the capacity of rational thinking and you’re supposed to be a competent person or you wouldn’t have been hired in the first place. Your opinions are important and you should state them. If your manager doesn’t care to listen for your opinions, than maybe you should remember this the next time you’re asked to put in some overtime hours.
  • “Work isn’t supposed to be fun”. Well, it is said over and over, the key to a successful business or a successful company is working with passion and doing what you love. If your work environment doesn’t offer you the necessary enthusiasm to do the best you can in your field, there’s no way you’ll reach your full potential.
  • “You’re not the only one good at this job”. This is a theory a manager shouldn’t put into practice. If you know you have good employees, why risk bringing new, inexperienced people in the company? If your manager thinks you’re replaceable, it means you’re not being appreciated at your real value, or maybe you’re not even being used at your full potential.
  • “I’ll take this into consideration”. This sentence doesn’t necessarily mean your ideas were not good, it means your manager didn’t quite understand what it was about and doesn’t want to admit it. The right answers would have been “yes”, “no”, or “I’ll think about it and get back to you on Monday”. Your manager should have either give you a clear answer or a certain date to discuss things further.
  • “I don’t care what you’re working on, this must be done ASAP”. The manager who is so frantic about the tasks he assigns doesn’t realize your work is interdependent with what your colleagues do and you can’t just mess up other people’s schedules because there’s some sort of new crisis you weren’t aware of.
  • “Hey, I don’t make the rules.” This is a lame excuse and managers who use it know it too well. Your manager certainly has more influence than you in the company hierarchy and if there’s something more employees complain about, it’s their duty being a good manager to address the issue(s) to higher management.
  • “If you don’t want the job, I’ll find someone else who does”. Frankly, if a manager tells you this, you should find another place to work or you’re doing a really lousy job.
  • “This is how we do things around here”. Well, who said change equals bad things that might happen to the company? Don’t companies usually hire new people to have fresh ideas, strategies or work methods? Managers should be open to take advantage of new opportunities. It’s never too late to learn something and you can never have too much experience.
  • “We really can’t afford a raise of salary in this economy”. In other words, you’re good at what you do and they’re happy with your work, but you’ll only have their eternal gratitude.

As you can tell, these phrases illustrated in the article are a little exaggerated to emphasize extreme situations, although you might be surprised how often these discussions occur between managers and subordinates. Just remember, being a good manager means knowing how to empathize with the people you work with and being a good employee means realizing your superior doesn’t have all the answers and you can always learn from one another.

Bonus phrase: “Why are your files all over the place?”. Actually, this is something you shouldn’t hear if you have an efficient Document Management System , like VENDOM. If you don’t have it already, you should tell your manager about it. You’ll save time and energy searching for documents in different folders.