how to politely say no at work

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Post on 15-Apr-2017




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How to (politely) say no at work

Do you find it difficult to say no to your boss or colleagues? We werent taught it at uni, and it doesnt come naturally to most people especially when we want to please people and prove were hard workers. But sometimes no is necessary. Heres how to tackle this tricky topic.

First, an explanation. Why is it so hard to say no?. At time it can sound rude, disagreeable or unhelpful. You may be worried about upsetting the person asking, or missing out on future opportunities by not being accomodating.

When is no vital? If something is unethical, illegal or unsafe you should say no. But if the request if part of your job description and you have capacity to do it, you should say yes. The rest is a grey area and requires your discretion to decide.

How do you deny a request without giving the impression youre not a team player?

Build up your reputation first. Prove you have a fantastic work ethic before you can start saying no. Say yes to as much as you can handle and do the work well.

Ask questions to make sure you understand exactly what is required to complete the task. Once you have all the details, weigh up your decision.

Explain your reasons for refusing. Will your standard of work suffer?

Is there an alternative? Can you take on just one aspect of the project? Perhaps ask a colleague if theyre in a position to help.

Deliver your answer face-to-face. Its easier to misinterpret the tone of an e-mail. If youre the bearer of bad news, its best to deliver it in person.


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