Last week, we shared the recently published Fast Company article featuring our very own Tim Sieck. The focus of that article was When Should You Turn Down a Work Assignment. That article and two other specific situations that we deal with regularly inspired me to write today’s article, Saying No Isn’t Always Bad.
Here are two comments and questions that I hear frequently from clients:
- We keep having to figure out how to do more with less. What suggestions do you have?
- Sometimes when I tell people or employees “No” they get frustrated or angry with me. What can I do?
Sometimes Saying No Isn’t a Bad Thing
Let’s address #1. In today’s world, this is so prevalent. I am not sure I ever encounter employees or companies who say they have so much extra time, resources, and energy that they don’t know what to do with it all. In fact, most of us probably can’t even imagine that.
So with that being said, sometimes the only way you can control your workload and life is by saying no. Here are some ideas:
- When asked to take on a new project, ask yourself, will this drive the business forward or help my career. If the answer is no, it may be OK to let that project go.
- Being overwhelmed is almost a constant. Turning down or saying no to new opportunities may make things seem more manageable.
How to Say No Without Saying No
Now let’s look at #2. For some people, saying no is a difficult thing to do. Here are a few tips or communication techniques that may help you.
- Not right now. Saying this instead of no leaves the door open. This ends the immediate conversation but it does leave the door open for future discussions.
- That’s an interesting idea. How could you implement that? This takes the pressure off of you and puts it back on the person who is bringing the idea to you.
Let us know what you think! Do you have other ideas on how to say no without saying no? If so, we would love to hear them!