7 Ways NOT to Impress Your Boss

Are you hoping to receive a raise, get a title promotion, or simply gain the respect of your boss? Take a moment to think back to the last time you spoke to your supervisor directly or did something that received a high level of recognition. Has it been a while? Also, do you feel stressed, angry, or tired while at work? If so, your boss probably can tell.

It might be time to boost your self-awareness and reevaluate your actions in the workplace. If you aren’t actively working to impress your boss, there’s a pretty high chance you’re actually frustrating him. Don’t wait until it’s too late to leave a lasting impression on your manager. Here are seven ways you won’t impress your boss:

1) Gloat about your accomplishments:

There’s a big difference between making sure your boss knows you’re meeting or exceeding your goals and shouting your contributions from the rooftop. Even if your manager doesn’t catch you gloating, no one likes a bragger — and you’re probably going to end up rubbing your co-workers the wrong way, which your boss certainly will notice. Chances are, if you’re doing your job well, there is no need to share your victories so vocally. While it feels nice to give yourself a pat on the back every once in awhile, stick to the facts (Situation, Action, Results) and only inform those who could possibly take actions as a result that might impact your career.

2) Suck up via social media:

It’s one thing to be a brown noser to your boss’s face, but doing it via social media will send you down a path of no return. (On the flip side, don’t complain about your boss there either!) While the ability to communicate properly using social media is a must, using social platforms to constantly tweet at, retweet, comment, or share what your manager is saying will probably drive them crazy. There are many ways to build a meaningful relationship with your boss, but this isn’t one of them. Not to mention, no one likes that person at work who only knows how to communicate online.

3) Never interact with anyone at work:

Building professional relationships with your co-workers is an absolute must for a healthy workplace culture. It would be a grave mistake to assume your boss doesn’t notice the lack of interaction you have with him and your co-workers. This doesn’t mean you need to pal around with them outside of work, but it does mean you need to take the time to develop a courteous and respectful two-way relationship. At a minimum, congratulate them on work well done and make small talk when the time is right.

4) Avoid face-to-face communication:

While sending emails is necessary, it’s often a detrimental form of communication. You’re going to create an awkward situation if you continually avoid speaking directly to your boss. Certainly don’t run into his office every chance you get, but spend time developing a relationship with your manager that involves more communication offline.

5) Never relax:

Tensing up around an authority figure is common. You might not even notice you are doing it, but your boss certainly does. It’s essential you begin actively working on being more relaxed in his presence, or things will get awkward fast. Take the time to assess the tension you’re feeling and address it head on.

6) Never do your research:

Whether you’re inquiring about a project or asking for a raise, a sure-fire way to anger your boss is by continually disregarding easily accessible facts. If you fail to research simple things before asking, you’ll end up wasting your manager’s valuable time. On the flip side, researching the right answers upfront will impress your boss while putting him at ease.

7) Be as negative as humanly possible:

Making a habit out of routinely venting your frustrations at work about your job or your personal life will not only anger your boss, but also could lead to you being fired. Even if your boss isn’t directly hearing your negativity, rumors of your attitude will certainly travel his way. The importance of a positive attitude cannot be overstated. As a long-time manager myself, I can’t afford to have one person bringing my entire team down — no matter how well you perform your job, if you’re causing other people to think twice about working for my company, it’s time for you to go.

What are some easily overlooked ways to go the extra mile when trying to impress your boss?

Related: How NOT to Ask for a Raise or Promotion.

By Heather R. Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is a career expert and founder & president of Come Recommended, a career and workplace education and consulting firm specializing in young professionals.