When Is It The Right Time To Say No At Work
There are definitely occasions where saying yes at work is a highly recommended action as it opens new opportunities and pushes us to the best of our capabilities. But acknowledging and saying yes to every task or offer can sometimes overload us, and too much of it will become a burden, thus taking a toll on our productivity. Therefore, there are times when saying ‘no’ takes precedence.
In today’s day and age, saying ‘no’ seems almost a taboo word to use in the professional world. There is a preconceived notion that saying no equates to incompetence or a lack of effort on one’s part. This is as far from the truth as it can get. Do not be afraid to decline when necessary such as if you are already busy with an important task at hand or when it requires you to perform beyond your regular working hours.
While it is alright to say no, there are ways to go about it. Here are three pointers you can take away from when declining someone, be it your superiors, co-workers, or clients.
Consider the Request
We do not reject someone’s request for no reason, right? Take time and access the situation. There might be times where we might be overwhelmed with work for the next few hours or days, but when it’s completed, we are free to help once again. Ask if the task or work given has a deadline and see if it is manageable then.
If you feel that the assignment given is too much on your workload, explain it clearly and see if the task at hand can be split among a few co-workers so as it does not overburden yourself yet in the long run, still offering the help they need.
Even if you do not currently have the capacity to say yes, turning down someone should still be approached with good manners and utmost professionalism. Explain and choose polite words with a softer tone, for example, “I would love to help you with this assignment, but currently, I am quite busy with my own duties” instead of a flat out “No, I cannot help you.”
This way, your workers will understand your position better and will still be thankful that you considered helping them if you had the means.
Another way to help out someone without the need to give them a direct ‘no’ is to suggest alternative ideas or avenues. Refer them to a colleague you know who is open or are free to take requests.
When it comes to discussions, there are times where you disagree with what is shared on the table. While maintaining politeness, do decline the ideas given (do not shoot them down) and after doing so, suggest your takes and plans that you have, explaining that you feel your alternative might work better in that situation.
In the end, saying ‘no’ is all about understanding one another and therefore do not be afraid to say ‘no’ when it is necessary. Always prioritize and practice empathy before declining anyone, but it should never go beyond the expense of your capabilities and wellbeing.
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