WORKPLACE / MAR. 30, 2015
version 4, draft 4

Would You be Better off NOT Knowing the Answers to All of Your Boss' Questions?


Bosses can be quite annoying at times, especially when they expect you to know the answers to all the questions they ask. Some bosses often handle their staff like two-year-olds who need to be scolded and reprimanded a million times in a day. Bosses may ask questions that you may find irritating and inappropriate. The sad part is when they expect you to have all the answers. I am sure right now the question running through your mind is whether or not you would be better off not knowing the answers to all your bosses’ questions. Not answering all the questions is the best way to avoid further trouble.

See also: How to Improve Your Relationship with the Boss

Answering all questions the boss asks would probably leave you on a hot spot. For instance, if the boss asks whether there are any problems that you have encountered; you could be better off quiet. Answering questions like this may mean you are soliciting for possible problems instead of finding solutions. Bosses prefer problem solvers, not creators, so no matter how grievous the situation is, always try to give the positive side.

When the boss is annoyed and asks rhetoric questions such as “do you think I am stupid?” Or “Do you think I made the wrong choice?” Keep quiet. Answering such questions may land you in trouble. Never make the boss look inefficient or incapable of doing certain tasks. The best thing to do is watch the boss and wait for the tension to fade, and then resume your regular duties.

Playing the nosy workmate is the easiest way of making your time at the workplace difficult. The manager may use you to get information about the state of other workmates. If you have a manager who is nosy and keeps asking about the affairs of other workmates, you are better off not answering such questions. Being nosy may get you into trouble with the boss and fellow workmates. This also applies to taking sides in the event of having more than one supervisor.

The question, “What do you think we can do?” Can prove to be very tricky. The boss is giving you a forum to share your views and suggestions. Depending on the type of boss you have, answering such a question may be delicate. If you give a smarter idea as opposed to the boss’, it may jeopardize your work. Alternatively if you do not say a thing, this may render you redundant. The best way to go about this is to give your opinion in a suggestion form and make sure you sound like you are building on the boss’ suggestion. Avoid outsmarting the supervisor in any way.

See also: How to Become your Boss’ Favourite Employee

To sum up, creating a professional working environment with the boss may be the best way to relate. Keep conversations friendly, yet professional. Employees often get accustomed to their employers and treat them on the same level as they would with fellow workmates. This may be your road to destruction. Maintain the respect and answer only questions that are necessary to avoid trouble. Do not act too smart or too good.

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