5 Sentences not to say to your boss in finance

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We don’t always know what to say to our bosses, but there’s certainly things we should be careful when we speak to them.

1. Hey, we’ve got a problem

Don’t start your sentence with “problem”, or at least back up your sentence with a proposed “solution” before you walk into your VP’s or Director’s office (here I assume you wouldn’t go to your MD’s office directly!)

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2. It’s not my problem. Ask xxx

As cheesy as it sounds, and as irony as it goes, finance institutions are still about team work. You would not want to finger point and blame the problem to others even in banks, and assume zero responsibility in a team when things go wrong.



3. But that’s how we’ve always done it

Your senior might suddenly change the usual way of modelling or valuation or presentation, and ask you to scratch all your work and start anew. Or your senior might come from a different firm and does not know the standard process or method of doing things at your firm yet. Ask him the rationale of why he’s asked you to do things certain way, instead of telling him off.

Boy at desk with disapproving girl

4. No, I completely disagree with you

Officers expect disagreement and push-backs from juniors, but polish your sentence please… It is a people business after all.

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5. “Silence”

The worst among all is probably not to say anything, especially when you are questioned about some numbers. When your senior asks you how you have come up with this number, you don’t remember  any more after a long day or you don’t know. Please don’t respond nothing, and stand there in silence, idling… Instead at least say “let me double check and let you know.”

Businessman Shouting Into Big Ear


Contributed by City Sail blogger. All rights reserved.

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