Swati Rai
6 Oct 2015 . 3 min read

Be work ready: What bosses say, but what they mean!

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There is no better way to retain employees even better than getting paid handsomely, than by being a good boss.

It is tough to negotiate the path of being a good boss without being bossy. It is language that then comes handy- as bosses have a tricky task sometimes, to say what they don’t mean and mean what they don’t say! Here are a few nuggets, and how to decipher the language!

I need you to step up your game …

All is very well but now comes the time when someone needs to bell the cat or take matters in one’s own hand! That’s ‘you’ !By making the task sound out of the ordinary and the outcome herculean – the boss can sometimes vary their tone and choice of words to suggest pomposity and the heroic deed that one is about to do!

There is this thing I wanted to talk to you about…

It is not a random quote, instead it is an extremely, mostly unpleasant assignment that she wants to talk to you about and by using the word ‘thing’, lends itself to an acceptable casuality! So it’s surely not a light hearted banter that’s coming your way when the boss speaks like that – better mind the gap!

We are looking at a challenging portfolio for you!

So there is only you who can either take the bull by its horns or take up the gauntlet! You are the chosen one to take on a project that no one’s willing to touch with a bargepole! So there you are, faced with a situation wherein you are asked to take up an assignment that could well be your professional harakiri or a career booster, depending on the result!

Don’t be afraid of experimenting in newer pastures!

Read: By making a move to a newer station, you are expected to reinvent your career- a.k.a start from a scratch and set up a new identity. Assemble a team and get the operations going and help  business expand. It’s a great proposition, just so long as you are able to decode the finer print - and ensure that you are ready for it!


Not all of us work for money!

Well not all of us work for money but it does form an important aspect of our returns for the time energy and vision that we spend on the company. This is a clever way of saying that you deserve the annual appraisal raise, however, someone else might just get it owing to the cash crunch in the organisation!

My hands are tied

This is a smart way of saying – I could have done what you expected me to do, but I won’t! There are times when a manager or a boss has to look at not rocking the boat in so far as team cohesiveness is concerned. At other times, there are pressures from the top brass that have to be borne. In such situations, when the boss has to take a call on how best to negotiate a crisis or a situation, the boss shows inability to do something but in a masterstroke achieves her intended aim!  

All these statements are just a diplomatic and not a negative way of conveying a message. Remember that there are ways to reply to each of these statements without meaning or relaying harm or negativity…but that’s another write up! 

Swati Rai
Swati Swati Rai is a freelance corporate, English language and Soft Skills trainer with over 15 years of on field experience. She writes on her experiences as a Flexi'mom' and a careerist. Her writing canvas includes lifestyle, career tips and trends, cinema, technology and society! A regular contributor with national dailies, she is currently working on a book that is an amalgamation of career trends, tips and life mantras! She can be caught on @RaiSwatiRai on twitter

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