Healthy collaboration depends on information sharing. However, when you are sharing information with the boss, you should keep these statements to yourself:
- “There is only one solution.” Like a carpenter with only one tool, you may tend to see most problems from the same angle. However, just as you can’t expect a hammer to meet every carpentry need, you cannot expect an identical approach to succeed for every workplace problem. If you do, your boss will see you as a roadblock. Better: Share your first impressions of the situation, and ask the boss to do the same before you brainstorm together.
- “No way.” Sometimes you may not be able to meet the exact goal, but you should never say that the goal is impossible. Tell your boss some of the challenges you see, and then start a conversation about ways to beat the biggest obstacles.
- “Surprise!” No boss likes to hear that, particularly when the news is unpleasant. Discuss looming threats with your boss before they materialize, so the two of you can plan to overcome or compensate for them.