Twenty-first century workplaces may look and feel more casual than ever — with their relaxed dress codes, open floor plans and fluid organizational charts — but there are still rules of how workers are expected to speak to the boss. “Social media has encouraged the loosening of boundaries. Because of the breakdown of formality, work from home and flex time, everybody’s more at ease,” said Kelly Bergeron, an executive coach with Novateur Partners in Atlanta, Georgia.
The former Marine Corps officer and chief human relations officer is a certified corporate coach through the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches (WABC) and uses her training to coach and mentor professionals to become better leaders. She’s seen employees get into difficult — and almost always avoidable — situations by not thinking before they speak. “People get lulled into informality with the boss and other people. The boundaries still exist, they’re just not as rigid or defined,” Bergeron said.
Consider this your primer on what not to say to your boss.