How To Tell My Boss I Can’t Do A Task?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a task that is beyond my ability.

I am assigned a task that is beyond my ability and knowledge or my skills. And, I have to work on it or I am in trouble. What is a smart way to tell the boss about this. He doesn’t like, “I will try my best”.

Signed, At A Loss For Words

Dear At A Loss For Words:

The best time to discuss this with your boss was when you were given the task. But, sometimes that is easier said than done, when the boss is assuming you know how to do it. If you can at least start the task, you should do so and make a good faith effort to accomplish it. That way you can show what you have done thus far but say that you cannot go further. If you don’t even try, your boss may think that you don’t care enough to make the effort.

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