Navigating Professional Relationships: What Not to Tell Your Manager

Tess McCarthy

Hatched by Tess McCarthy

Oct 12, 2023

4 min read


Navigating Professional Relationships: What Not to Tell Your Manager


Establishing a positive and professional relationship with your manager is crucial for career growth and job satisfaction. However, there are certain things that should never be shared with your manager, as they can potentially damage the dynamics and trust in the workplace. In this article, we will explore ten things that you should never, ever tell your manager, and delve into the significance of maintaining a respectful and constructive professional environment.

1. Avoid Criticizing the Company or Leadership:

One of the cardinal rules of maintaining a healthy relationship with your manager is refraining from expressing your discontent with the company or the leadership team. Even if you share a friendly and honest rapport with your boss, openly stating your dislike or lack of respect for the organization can lead to a breakdown in trust and may have negative repercussions for your career. Instead, focus on constructive feedback and offer suggestions for improvement when appropriate.

2. Don't Discuss Personal Issues:

While it's essential to establish a rapport with your manager, it's equally important to maintain professional boundaries. Personal issues, such as family problems or health concerns, should be kept separate from the workplace. Sharing such details with your manager may inadvertently blur the lines between your personal and professional life, potentially impacting your credibility and professionalism. Maintain a level of professionalism when interacting with your manager, and seek support from friends, family, or professional resources for personal matters.

3. Keep Salary Comparisons to Yourself:

Discussions about salaries can be a sensitive topic in the workplace. It is advisable to avoid disclosing your salary or discussing the compensation packages of colleagues with your manager. Salary discussions should be handled through appropriate channels, such as HR or during performance reviews. Sharing such information with your manager may lead to unnecessary tension, jealousy, or resentment among team members.

4. Refrain from Gossiping:

Gossiping is an unhealthy habit that can poison the work environment and damage relationships. Sharing rumors or engaging in negative talk about colleagues, superiors, or the organization can quickly erode trust and create a toxic atmosphere. Avoid indulging in gossip, as it reflects poorly on your character and professionalism. Instead, focus on building positive relationships and fostering a supportive work culture.

5. Don't Reveal Confidential Information:

Maintaining confidentiality is of utmost importance in any professional setting. Sharing sensitive or confidential information with anyone, including your manager, can be detrimental to your career and the organization as a whole. Respect the trust placed in you and refrain from discussing confidential matters outside of the appropriate channels. Upholding confidentiality demonstrates your professionalism and integrity, which are highly valued attributes in the workplace.

6. Keep Personal Opinions in Check:

While everyone is entitled to their opinions, expressing strong personal views on controversial topics or engaging in heated debates with your manager can be counterproductive. Remember, the workplace is a diverse environment, and differing opinions are bound to exist. It is essential to maintain a level of professionalism and respect for others' perspectives, even if they differ from your own. Engage in open-minded discussions that encourage collaboration and growth, rather than fueling unnecessary conflicts.

7. Avoid Complaining Excessively:

Complaining excessively about work-related issues can create a negative perception of your attitude and commitment. While it's natural to encounter challenges and frustrations at work, it's crucial to approach them constructively. Instead of venting to your manager about every minor inconvenience, focus on identifying potential solutions or seeking guidance on how to overcome obstacles. Displaying a proactive and problem-solving mindset will earn you respect and enhance your professional image.

8. Stay Away from Personal Bias:

In the workplace, it's essential to treat all colleagues and team members fairly and without personal bias. Avoid expressing personal biases, whether related to gender, race, religion, or any other factor, as it can lead to discrimination and a hostile work environment. Cultivate an inclusive mindset and embrace diversity to foster a collaborative and harmonious workplace culture.

9. Don't Overshare on Social Media:

With the prevalence of social media, it is important to exercise caution when sharing work-related information or opinions online. Avoid posting negative comments or venting about work-related matters, as it can have severe consequences on your professional reputation. Employers often monitor social media profiles, and inappropriate online behavior can jeopardize your credibility and potential career opportunities.

10. Don't Discuss Job Offers or Prospective Opportunities:

While it's natural to explore new career opportunities, discussing job offers or prospective opportunities with your manager can create an uncomfortable situation. Sharing such information prematurely may lead to strained relationships and a lack of trust. Instead, focus on your current role and strive for growth within your existing organization. When the time comes to pursue new opportunities, handle the situation professionally and maintain open communication with your manager.


Navigating professional relationships can be challenging, but by adhering to certain guidelines, you can foster a positive and productive dynamic with your manager. Remember to avoid criticizing the company or leadership, maintain professional boundaries, refrain from gossiping, and uphold confidentiality. Additionally, practice active listening, seek growth opportunities, and always demonstrate respect and professionalism. By following these actionable pieces of advice, you can build strong professional relationships and pave the way for career success.

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