What Not to Say to Your Manager's Manager

by Gilda Bonanno LLC www.gildabonanno.com

A manager recently shared the following story with me. He saw an employee in a social situation – an employee he hadn't seen in a while who reported to one of his direct reports. The employee told him, "Oh, you've put on weight." Yes, that's right, the employee told his manager's manager that he had put on weight!

What could he have been thinking? What could have been his reason for making that statement? I don't always like hard and fast rules, but I think we can be certain of this rule: unless you work for a dietician or a weight-loss clinic, never comment on someone's weight at work – especially if you think it's a weight gain and especially if it's your manager's manager.

Think before you speak. Practice small talk – things like "nice to see you," "can you believe the weather?" or "this pasta is delicious" are appropriate for those situations with management when you're not talking about a specific project or work-related topic. Better to be forgotten by your manager's manager or remembered as the employee who chatted about the weather - than remembered as the employee who insulted him.

Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com