How to respond to your boss?- A Clear Guide

How to respond to your boss?

When we start to work under a company, we come under the supervision of a foreman whose sole duty is to superintend the workers of the company. He /she recruits employees, instructs them, gives feedback to them, shares ideas develops a plan to accomplish the task. So, as an employee, we must respect our boss. A mentor should be treated well. There can be a difference of opinion, but basic manners are expected from both parties. We have to be very careful with our words and instead of spreading hatred, we should spread love. The relationship between an employee and the employer mostly depends on both their behavior and manners. There are some key skills that an employee should know to maintain a good balance in his/her relationship with his/her boss. Today’s topic- How to respond to your boss?


In every relationship, there is a boundary that one should never cross. We should be aware of our limitations. Sometimes we lose control over ourselves. All of us should have control over ourselves. You are an employee and you are working under someone. You have taken the job while you were enough aware of these terms and conditions. Our opinion may differ from someone else’s. There is no such strict rule that all of us should think alike. But that does not mean we can take this to an argument and make the whole situation clumsy. An understanding mind is expected from an employee, so from an employer.

Remember your position: 

Do not forget that you are an employee. If you make any mistake by crossing your limits, it will affect your career. You may not like the personality of your boss. Sometimes you will feel that you should say something in your defense, we are not trying to stop you. If he/she says something to you that you find unfair, just talk to him/her, but do not forget your limits. We are asking you to be polite.

Listen first:

We tend to act fast without even listening to the whole thing. An employee can’t be impulsive or hyperactive. He/she should be patient and listen to his/her boss first. We create a nuisance by not listening fully. If we are patient and listen to the other party, we will find that the person we are getting angry with, is not saying anything out of the blue. He/she has his/her reasons. Your boss has to guide you properly. He/she has taken the responsibility of lifting the company. So, it is natural he/she will correct you if you are wrong anywhere.

Check your tone:

When you are talking to your boss, please check your tone. It is always better to discuss things quietly, calmly. If you think you are angry, just take some time, talk to yourself, have a cup of coffee, and now if you are feeling better then you can go to talk to your boss with a cool head.

Give respect by addressing properly:

If you are being asked something by your boss, while answering, keep addressing it as ‘sir’, ‘madam’. By addressing them as ‘sir’, madam’ you will be able to show your respect towards them and this also will remind you of your position.

Show your interest:

If you have proposed something, you need to show your boss that you are interested. But do not be over expressive. If you have no experience in the proposed field, ask your boss to help you out. He/she will do that, as you are working under him/her. 

While making the plan, you may not agree with the whole plan. In such cases, you need to tell your boss first that you agree with most of the parts of the proposed deal. Later you can go and explain about the part that you can’t agree with. Tell him/her if you have any better suggestions. A boss always looks up to his/her employees for creative suggestions. If you have any, feel free to share that with him/her. If the idea of yours appears to be good, your boss will take your idea and appreciate you. And if he/she rejects your idea, that means it must have some errors. Listen to your boss and accept it.

In writing:

You may have to write an e-mail to respond to your boss when he/she sends any to you. You need to be formal here as well. The selection of your words should be proper. Avoid ‘hi’, ‘hello’. Instead of these say good morning ma’am/sir or good evening ma’am /sir and then start writing the body of your e-mail. Any informal use of words can make an impact on your career. Before sending it check once, make sure you have answered all the questions that you have been asked, or if you have been asked to submit something via e-mail, check if anything is left or not. In the end, do not forget to convey your regards to your boss.

If your company has a WhatsApp group and your boss communicates with you there, do not take it casually either. It does not matter which platform you are using to communicate with them, you must be formal while communicating with them. Your boss can be frank and friendly but that does not mean you can treat him/her just like your friends.

Except for these, you need to know that you should avoid a few things while responding to your boss. Like-

  • “No” – You should never say ‘no’ to your boss. You should always be a cooperative, enthusiast in teamwork. You can’t be a lone wolf. It is always teamwork that brings prosperity. So, your boss will always want you to help others without saying ‘no’.
  • “I can’t” – If you are being asked to do something by your boss, you must do that. You should not say “I can’t”. If you do not have any knowledge in that area, ask someone for help, put in your effort. Your boss expects you to be a hardworking person, whose dictionary does not have the word ‘give up. An employee with determination gets appreciated.
  • “I do not know” – You can’t use this phrase while you are having a conversation with your boss regarding the work. You may have to face tricky questions, questions that can’t be answered easily. But you need to learn to handle those situations wisely without using this phrase.
  • “I am sorry, but…” – You will have situations where you will need to apologize. When you are apologizing, keep it straight. Do not try to say words to justify your mistake. We are humans, and it is quite natural to make mistakes. It is a mistake that gives us a lesson and helps us to go forward. We must learn from those mistakes and apologies without taking our side.
  • “I will leave”- Stop using this phrase as well. It is you who wanted a job, and the company has given you the opportunity after seeing your potential. If you leave, it is completely your loss, not theirs. There are 1000 more like you who are in search of a job. So, if you are leaving, your seat is not going to remain empty. Your company will hire someone else in your post. Do not make such mistakes.
  • “I am not the one who did that, somebody else did it”- An employee can’t blame his/her co-worker. If something wrong happens, it is on all of the employees. A single person can’t be blamed for a mistake. In such a case, everyone should work on that unitedly without throwing mud at each other.
  • “I gave it my best”- If you have been called for discussing the mistake you have made never say I gave it my best. If your best brings this result then your boss will regret his/her choice for making you an employee of the company.
  • “In my previous, I did this differently”- If you want to share your idea you are welcome. But do not make the mistake of comparing the current company you are working in with the previous company that you have left. This can leave a bad impression on you.

After all these, we believe a healthy relationship can be made when both parties take their responsibilities. There should be a good balance. An employee is not the only one whom the responsibility is, it is on the boss as well. There is a pyramidal structure and a boss is indeed superior to the employees in terms of skills, experience, knowledge, power. But one should never misuse that superiority. Rather a boss should be friendly to his/her employees, make them learn things, help them out and an employee should always obey his/her boss. We have been taught to respect our teachers and our coordinators are nothing but teachers. Adjustment is fundamental for any kind of relationship, so is for the relationship between an employee and the boss.

Frequently Asked Questions.

  1. Can I have a friendly relationship with your boss? 
    You must share a friendly relationship with your boss. This can bring success.

  2. Is it okay to question my boss?
    If you are having any doubts regarding the project you should ask. But if your question is about something else, we would suggest you think if asking that question is okay or not and if your answer is no then drop the plan of asking that question. Making your boss uncomfortable with weird questions should be avoided.
  1. Is it okay to quit the job if I face unfair treatment?
    By unfair treatment, if you mean mental torture or physical abuse, office politics, favoritism, or nepotism then yes you should resign. 
  1. Can I take a step against my boss if he/she is bully?
    Of course, you can. If you are facing mental distress caused by your boss, you can bring the personal effect claim to recover damages. 
How to respond to your boss?- A Clear Guide

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