Saying no to colleagues or supervisors is not easy. And yet it is essential. With concrete arguments and polite answers you can use the ‘no’ uninhibitedly. Here are a few tips.
It’s not easy to say no to your supervisor, is it? Especially if he asks at the last minute to do a task just before going home, or worse, on the weekend.
You don’t have to load the mule, you risk increasing your dose of stress at work. It won’t do you much good except overtime at the office. There’s no absolute recipe for saying “no,” but some ingredients can help.
The first thing to do before declining or accepting a new mission is to establish priorities. Think about your daily tasks and whether this request might affect your urgent business or fit into your schedule. If not, you can answer that you have a lot to do today by showing it with facts. Example sentence: “I would love to help you, but I couldn’t because I have a lot of work today.”
If it is a late request, or even outside office hours, the first thing to know is that you are not obligated to respond. You have the right to disconnect.
Then the other question to ask is: “Can what my boss asks me wait until tomorrow?” If so, reply that you take note and that you will do so the next day.
Proposing an alternative isn’t really saying no, it’s true, but it’s a way of proving that you’re involved. And that pleases the superiors.
You could offer to perform the requested task in exchange for help with one of your files; propose an extension, as fees are already being charged; or suggest taking over this task by leaving one of your files to someone else.
Warning: It’s not about playing the strategists, but at work, as in life, you have to say what you think.
Saying “no” is showing off
For all of the above reasons, saying “yes” to your boss or co-workers is no way to show off. On the contrary. You prove your added value much more by showing that you know how to prioritize your work and that you can find alternatives to get to the end of a file. By saying “no”, you can really prove your professionalism.
If you’re still struggling to say it politely, the job search engine Indeed has listed “50 phrases to say ‘no’ neatly”.
(ETX Daily Up)