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Why You shouldn’t say anything bad about your boss to your coworkers; even if they agree with you

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Don’t say anything bad about your boss to your coworkers; even if they agree with you.

You never know if someone would backstab you and let your boss know.


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  1. Real LPT: Don’t say anything about someone you wouldn’t say to their face. Then not only do you not have to worry about being “backstabbed”, you’re also less of an asshole

  2. Corporate is a minefield. Be nice to everyone and just plan against them in secret. Being liked is more important than performance. We all know the useless guy who is the boss’ friend.

  3. also, if a coworker starts telling YOU stuff about someone else behind their back, assume they’re doing the same with stuff you tell them.

  4. For the majority of people I’d say this is probably good advice. But for me personally, I like to hear what my employees think of me, the good and the bad. For example, if one of my employees comes back to me and says “Hey boss, Billy Bob has been assigned the same easy task two weeks in a row while he’s working, some of the other employees don’t think it’s fair.” Then I’ll either look back and be like “damn I didn’t even realize, let’s rotate that position out and put Jane there today.” Or, I’ll at the very least be able to explain it from an operational standpoint, like “No, I’ve assigned billy Bob there because he’s on limited duty after getting injured, there’s no favoritism, it’s just the only thing he can do til he heals.”

    Now if word got back to me that Billy Bob called my wife a fat whore and me an insufferable ass hole. I’d just ignore it, and honestly probably kill Billy with kindness. Billy doesn’t have to like me, I don’t have to like Billy, but as long as Billy continues to do his job and doesn’t let his hatred for me lead to unprofessional behavior, then it’s whatever. You gotta understand not everyone is going to like you or the way you run things. You can try to explain your reasoning to a disgruntled employee. 99 times out of 100 if you treat your employees as co workers instead of subordinates, keep them in the loop and further explain to curious individuals who ask about something, you’re workplace will be a lot healthier and everyone will be happier overall.

  5. My last job was a cutthroat environment. Nearly everyone in a leadership position was out for themselves and would do whatever they could to climb higher, even if that meant stepping on you to get there. What job was this? Hobby Lobby corporate, Art/Creative department.

    The designers/artists/creatives kinda looked out for each other. There was some immature behaviors, but that was to be expected when a majority of them were fresh college graduates.

    The coordinators and team leads would act friendly to your face, but build a case against you over time without ever actually giving immediate input to correct mistakes.

    Case in point, I was reprimanded once for saying my favorite time of day was 5:00pm. For a team building activity, we were assigned to make a digital collage of our favorite things to share. Among several favorite things, I had a clock showing 5:00pm (quitting time). Several people chuckled at it, and I moved on to my other favorite things. Later that week I was brought in to my Team Leads office and told that some people may have taken offense to that, because not everyone gets their work done in time to leave by 5pm. I don’t believe it was another co-worker that complained, because this wasn’t the first time my team leader had called me in for something like this.

  6. A new hire that I have been training the last month “discreetly” told HR that I said “shit” around him when . The reason I know it was him is I saw him leaving HR’s office on my way into work 3 mins before I was called to come down for a good wrist slapping over “multiple” complaints. I’ve 100% not said a word near him that might be used against me since then, even things that may help him during training. Homie can learn all the things the hard way.

  7. This goes for friends and their exes too. They get back together, and they’ll remember everything you said even though they agreed with it at the time.

  8. If I have an issue with my boss, they’re the first to know it. I’m tired of workplaces turning into high school drama shit.

  9. Organizing, collective action, and labor laws aside – as a union steward who is privy to more detail than most of my co-workers realize, I suggest never saying ANYTHING to your co-workers that you don’t want going back to the boss.

    Once, Person A told Person B that A had to work a 2nd job to make ends meet. Person A was a grandma supporting grandkids on only A’s income. Person B told the bosses, and after an investigation A was fired (we tried to get A her job back, still in the arbitration process currently). After being fired, A asked the bosses to give A’s remaining cafeteria funds to B, since B is such a good friend. B never found out if A knew that B was the narc, but I hope it killed B a little inside when they got A’s food money on top of getting A fired

    Sorry if that’s confusing, but it’s so fucked up that I wanted to try my best to share

  10. Only saying things about others you are comfortable saying to them face to face has been a good principle in my experience.

  11. Do not let the fear of authority scare You away from discussing the flaws of Your supervisers/boss with Your coworkers. Talk about problems.

  12. Not sure about this LPT – you can get some toxic bosses and be gaslit, targeted negatively etc and your coworkers are the only ones who might see it too. Bottling it up can be risky. Totally understand that coworkers can spill though as people want to get ahead

  13. Wow this thread is a minefield of bad advice.

    Gossip is bad. But feedback is good.

    There’s nothing wrong with asking someone how to talk with the boss about a certain subject. If you intend to have that talk.

    Maybe I’ve been lucky but not every company is a snake pit with tyrannical bosses who are incompetent.

  14. Even if they start the conversation, don’t agree with them. A group of coworkers was complaining about a new policy and I agreed it was stupid and making my life very difficult. The next week I was called into the office. I don’t talk to my coworkers anymore. I hate working there now

  15. eh, you might get fired, but people need to learn how to organize in the workplace. this advice prevents that.

  16. So, be meekly quiet and afraid to voice your dissatisfaction because of fear of snitches and repercussions.

    Brilliant pro tip on how to improve the lives of bad bosses by living yours as a coward.

  17. I’m a consultant who gets hired for short- or long-term contracts to go in and “do something” for the company – process improvement, build a new system, etc.

    One of the side perks (or curses) of the job is it’s like being a bartender. People have no problem opening up to me and telling me all the dirt on managers, coworkers, and companies because they know I’m not going to tell anyone else.

    I could write a book…

    edit: words

  18. I would second this as being good advice even IF no one would ever backstab you. Talking bad of your bosses gets you social points in the moment, but can hurt the team over time.

    Think of when you or someone on your team eventually gets promoted to the leadership role. That person will enter that role knowing the former coworkers will be more likely to criticize you behind your back rather than be comfortable giving you direct negative feedback.

    If you’re interested to read more about stuff like this, there’s the 10 Rules of Followership here: https://engineeringmanagementinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/10_Followship_Rules_Meilinger.pdf

  19. Never talk negativity about anyone at all at work. Even if you think you can trust the person you’re telling. It’s just a bad idea all around and nearly always goes horribly wrong.

    Also remember that HR is there for the company, NOT for you. No matter what they say. Never talk negatively about your boss or anyone to HR either. They can’t be trusted.

  20. I feel like this is generally a good statement for talking bad about anyone. I would say really only talk bad to your family and SO or whoever you can really trust.

  21. SLPT imo. Do discuss the bad points of your job even if they are about someone else, unless you want to be stuck in a perpetual status quo of everything being shit and nobody wanting to talk about it or worse, do something about it. Until you’re let go/denied a raise/denied a promotion for some bullshit reason because nobody wanted to be up front about that little thing that you could have changed two years ago.

    Now, I’m not saying that it’s okay to trash talk someone out of the blue, or to bring up personal stuff that doesn’t affect the workplace, but if it does, bring it up as *constructive criticism*, don’t be a dick about it, and the worst thing that can happen is that you agree to disagree. Your boss isn’t entitled to your own opinions.

    And if you get in trouble because you criticized something that actually impacts your performance/working condition (very important “if” there), your management is a dick. And probably eligible for an easy lawsuit outside of at-will US states.

  22. Best to let not anyone know what you’re thinking of anyone unless it’s a complement, bad vibes draw bad people, avoid that. further letting people know your personal opinions in a vulnerable position such as a student, entry level job, anywhere where competition is fierce, you should expect to be backstabbed.

    People these days would call other people dumb for not pouncing on these opportunities, gossip and “backstabbing is expected, so be careful.

  23. quick story:

    my boss and I started bumping heads because she wouldn’t give me any independent work and treated me like her assistant. I hold an associate position and required to have independent projects according to my yearly goals. My yearly ratings are directly correlated to my raise so I was a little concerned and brought it to my boss. No change. I told some coworkers who told their managers and my director heard through the grapevine. The director requested a meeting and we talked about some of the issues I had.

    Long story short: everything blew up and my boss thought I went to the director behind her back on purpose. She started crying during a meeting we all had to remedy the issue and thought that she was being attacked about her management style.

    In retaliation, she’s been trying to give me too much work so that I cannot accomplish my goals and work in a timely manner so she can give me a lower rating on my yearly review. Lose lose situation.

  24. I learned this the hard way. It may sound depressing, but the best thing to do at any job is nothing. Literally nothing. Just do your job and go home. Don’t try and make friends, don’t try and get in on anyone’s conversations, don’t try and correct anyone else’s work.

    This might be better advice for some people over others, but if you’re like me, someone who has a history of gossiping about coworkers, just do yourself a favor and stop. It’s not worth it.

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