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Personal Work

Saying No at Work!

How can we say NO at work?  So when your boss or colleague asks for your help with a new project, or stay later to accomplish unrealistic deadline take your time and think of all the consequences.

Think about the stress that saying yes might cause you. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to just say no in the first place? People who always say yes are those that seek acceptance from others. When you say yes to something new, you’re not thinking about the consequences it will have on your existing work. You might sacrifice the quality of your work or overschedule yourself.

No one wants to be known as the person who always says no. But, if you say “yes” all the time: Your work starts to get over-committed. Even if you put in the extra hours, you’re not going to be doing your best work.

Saying no at work is a difficult thing to do, but it’s important to keep yourself healthy, happy, and productive. Saying “no” is a part of being professional. That doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. Saying no is vital to your success and the success of your organization.

Nobody needs an answer straight away. But, before saying no, ask a few questions. Could this wait? It is urgent? Also, think about what’s is your workload, do you have time? Are you the best person for the job? Can your priorities be changed, or whether a colleague could step in to help you. Don’t say no until you’re sure you need to.

There are several ways to say no positively;

  • Be firm and direct. For example: “Thanks for the opportunity but I’m afraid it’s not convenient right now” or “I’m sorry but I can’t help this weekend I have something plan.”
  • Stop justify yourself when you are saying no. Instead of doing that, make the reason for saying no. Think of the reasons that justify your action and speak them clearly. If you can, offer an alternative. Maybe some of your colleagues are free to help.
  • Talk about another commitment you made. For example: “I wish I could, but I’m already working on this project”.
  • Set boundaries and rules for yourself to avoid becoming overworked. For example: clearly say to your team that weekends you’re not available.

Don’t be afraid to say no.  The more you will exercise your right, the more comfortable it will feel. So, just say no.

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