The Art of Saying No in the Workplace

by A Guest Author

Yes, believe or not, even saying no at work is an art; especially if it is directed at one of your superiors. Why would you ever have to refuse your manager you ask? Difficult situations can arise in which you’re asked to work unpaid overtime or attend a meeting after hours, and sometimes you’ll need to put your foot down and say no!

Creating boundaries is integral to your professional development. Popularly compared to building a muscle, psychologists have suggested that you work up your confidence in this area by saying no to the small things at first.

3 Polite Ways of Saying No

  1. Change People’s Expectations: Everyone is intimidated by the prospect of potential conflict. You could avoid this altogether however, if you put your colleagues at arm’s length. Cultivating a degree of assertive behaviour will ensure that you don’t become the office go-to person. A step that could negate saying no altogether, being clear and honest about your work schedule will immediately show your colleagues whether you’re available to help them, or not.
  2. Drop the Guilt: Saying no is a part of life. If you were always available it’d mean that your days revolve around running around for other people. Keep in mind that feeling guilty is a part of the unhealthy pattern of being boundary-less. It’s time to drop the remorse and remind yourself that you’re not everybody’s PA. The trick? Always look to your own deadlines before seeing to someone else’s.
  3. Offer Alternatives: Refer your colleagues to someone else who could potentially help them if you’re unavailable. An alternative solution is great way of saying no without the person even realising it. You’re showing an interest, while simultaneously letting the individual know that you can’t step in.

It’s time to care of your own needs, value your own goals, and look after YOU. Always remember that you aren’t saying no just for the sake of it. If you want to help, by all means go ahead and help. Learning to put your foot down however, is about learning your own limits – when you can and can’t go the extra mile for someone. Once you’ve mastered the art, you’ll be wielding a powerful communication tool.

Another thing to keep in mind, saying no makes saying yes all the more sweet, and it’s a sign of good self-esteem. So give yourself permission to be responsible with your whole life. You might just become the direct adult you’ve always wanted to be.

About The Author:

Bella Gray is a corporate blogger from her office space Nottingham. A maestro of tips and strategies for navigating the workplace, Gray is the professional go-to-gal for all your business solutions.

This post was written by A Guest Author

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