If you’re working in an office and there is a clear policy on how staff are meant to address each other, then you’re in the clear – as far as your team mates are concerned. But this doesn’t always hold true when dealing with some supervisors, bosses or any staff that is above your level or grade. Whether you like it or not Office Politics exists and sometimes needs to be understood in order to avoid pitfalls that could ultimately leave you in the bad books of your superiors.
I have been at the receiving end of criticism for calling some bosses by their first name while I have equally received criticism for not referring to bosses by their first name. In a place like Nigeria where culture tends to override bureaucracy I therefore felt it necessary to list ways you can refer to both direct and indirect bosses (by email or speech) without annoying them:
I would be very careful with #4 because if your boss’s name is Brian O’Donnell then you might not be getting away with calling him or her B.O, likewise Freda Upton, Ben Johnson and Peter Pledge. I particularly like #5 which gives you the peace of mind that you are addressing your boss just the way he or she wants.