Navigating Professional Boundaries: 10 Things You Should Never Tell Your Manager

Tess McCarthy

Hatched by Tess McCarthy

Oct 30, 2023

3 min read


Navigating Professional Boundaries: 10 Things You Should Never Tell Your Manager


Maintaining a professional relationship with your manager is crucial for a harmonious work environment. However, there are certain topics and statements that should never be discussed with your superior. In this article, we will explore ten things you should never, ever tell your manager, as well as provide actionable advice to ensure a successful professional journey.

1. Personal Drama and Issues:

One of the most important boundaries to uphold is keeping your personal drama and issues separate from your professional life. While it's essential to build rapport with your manager, sharing intimate details about your personal life can blur the lines of professionalism. To maintain a healthy work environment, it is best to keep personal matters outside of the workplace.

2. Threatening to Quit:

Expressing the desire to quit unless specific demands are met is a dangerous move. Such ultimatums can strain your relationship with your manager and create an atmosphere of hostility. Instead, focus on open and honest communication about your concerns or issues, allowing for constructive dialogue and potential solutions.

3. Salary Comparisons:

Discussing salary with your manager should be approached with caution. While it's natural to wonder about your worth in comparison to colleagues, directly comparing salaries can lead to friction within the team. Instead, focus on demonstrating your value through your work, and if you believe you deserve a raise, prepare a well-researched case to discuss with your manager.

4. Gossip and Office Politics:

Engaging in office gossip or revealing sensitive information about colleagues can quickly erode trust between you and your manager. Being perceived as untrustworthy can harm your professional reputation. Instead, prioritize open and honest communication while maintaining confidentiality and professionalism.

5. Criticizing Other Team Members:

Voicing criticism about your colleagues to your manager is rarely productive. It can create a toxic work environment and strain relationships within the team. Instead, focus on providing constructive feedback directly to your colleagues when necessary, fostering a culture of growth and collaboration.

6. Personal Conflicts:

Sharing details about personal conflicts or disagreements with colleagues can create unnecessary tension and may compromise your professional reputation. It is best to address conflicts directly with the individuals involved or seek guidance from a trusted mentor or HR representative if necessary.

7. Negative Remarks about the Company:

Expressing negative opinions or openly criticizing the company to your manager can reflect poorly on your commitment to the organization. Instead, channel your energy towards finding solutions or suggesting improvements in a constructive manner.

8. Personal Relationships with Co-workers:

While it is normal to form personal connections with colleagues, disclosing intimate details about these relationships to your manager can create discomfort and raise questions about professionalism. It is crucial to maintain boundaries and separate personal and professional spheres.

9. Confidential Information:

Sharing confidential information, whether it be about clients, colleagues, or the company itself, is a breach of trust and can have severe consequences. It is essential to respect the privacy and confidentiality of all parties involved to maintain a professional and trustworthy reputation.

10. Personal Bias or Prejudice:

Expressing personal bias or prejudice towards certain groups or individuals can create a hostile work environment and damage relationships. It is crucial to treat all colleagues with respect and fairness, fostering an inclusive and supportive workplace.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Prioritize open communication: Create a safe space for open dialogue with your manager, focusing on professional matters and constructive feedback.
  • 2. Maintain professionalism: Respect boundaries and avoid sharing personal or confidential information that may jeopardize your professional relationships.
  • 3. Cultivate a positive work environment: Encourage teamwork, collaboration, and empathy to foster a supportive and productive workplace for everyone.


Maintaining a healthy and professional relationship with your manager is essential for your career growth and overall job satisfaction. By avoiding discussing personal drama, making ultimatums, or engaging in office politics, you can create a positive work environment that promotes growth and success. Remember to prioritize open communication, respect professional boundaries, and cultivate a supportive workplace for everyone to thrive.

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