What does your boss really want to hear? Career coach Mika Brzezinski, from the MSNBC TV show “Morning Joe” has laid out the phrases they love:

  • Starting with: “How can I help?” Think of it as the opposite of “That’s not my job.” Basically, every worker, and boss, should have the attitude that nothing is beneath them. If someone needs help, pitch in. Whether or not it’s your job, or something you think is two rungs down the corporate ladder. That’s not to say that you should be a doormat, but you should be a team player. So when it’s crunch time, get over yourself and get stuff done, whether it’s your job or not.

  • The next phrase bosses love: “I’m on it.” When you are given a task, let the boss know it’s being handled. That allows them to focus on what they’re doing. The phrase also shows you’re enthusiastic, another trait bosses love, and that you’re not putting it off. Also, when you say, “I’m on it,” it sounds powerful. So even if you’re just filing papers, it makes you seem like a go-getter.

  • And the phrase bosses hate? “So, what’d you do last night?” 

Typically, the boss doesn’t want to join the gang for chit chat around the water cooler. That doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly, or talk about non-work stuff. But follow their lead. If they ask about you, ask about them. But keep your side of things brief. It shows you understand they’re busy, and don’t have time to hear you re-hash all the details of your date last night.