THINGS TO NEVER TELL YOUR BOSS
"I need a raise."
That is not to say you can't ask for a raise during salary negotiations, but don't phrase it in terms of what you "need." Instead, negotiate for a higher salary by highlighting your successes and offering hard data on what other people in your industry at your level earn.
"That just isn't possible."
Even if it really isn't possible, don't admit it. Instead, focus on what can be done. Solve problems; do not create new ones.
"I can't stand working with _____."
When you complain about another coworker, even if it is warranted, it reflects poorly on you; however, if you are threatened or faced with illegal or unethical behavior, do tell HR. Just keep your tone professional.
"I partied too hard last night! I'm so hung over!"
Pop a couple of aspirin, drink coffee and get on with the job. Never share details of your late-night escapades with the boss. Always be professional.
"But I emailed you about that last week."
That may be true, but it's still your responsibility to keep track of your work flow. If you are expecting a response and don't get one, inquire verbally or resend the email.
"It's not my fault."
Are you 10 years old? The next thing you'll be saying is "It's not fair!" As a professional, you should assume responsibility and solve problems, especially problems you helped create. Instead, ask, "What can I do to make it right?"
"I don't know."
No one expects you to know everything, including your boss. But a better response when you don't know the answer is, "I'll find out right away."
"But we've always done it this way."
New ideas are the fires that keep businesses innovating and growing. When you whine about how it's always been done, you look like an old fogey who is focused on the negative. Instead, seriously consider new ideas and then say, "I think for this to work, we will have to do..."
"Let me set you up with..."
It' not up to you to find a Saturday night date for your single boss. That poses a lot more risk than it does potential benefit.