How to say no politely when it comes to work

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It’s one of the hardest things to do in the work place but it’s a necessary skill for anyone hoping to get a good job done and feel satisfied with their  daily job. You’ll notice your boss has no problem saying no, but you can be guaranteed it took them some practice to get there. So here’s how you can effectively say no:

Just say it.

Don’t beat around the bush – go for it and say no. Beating around the bush will make you appear weak and other people will know if they ask again you might give in. And remember you don’t need to give excuses. It’s completely your decision why you want to say no, and the more you say it, the more comfortable you’ll feel doing it in future. Provide an explanation if you need to but don’t feel compelled.

Be assertive but remain courteous at the same time

There are ways of saying no and still staying on a colleague’s good side. Try saying, “I’m sorry I can’t right now but will let you know when and if I can.” This approach is polite and yet puts you in a position of power by changing the dynamic. You’re taking charge, telling people you’ll let them know when and if you can.

Put the question back on the person asking

This is highly effective especially when it comes to a work situation. If you’re asked to do more than you’re asked to do, by your boss or a colleague at a higher level, suggest that you’re happy to do A and B, but that you would need a longer time to do a good job. Then ask how they’d like you to prioritise them.

Be firm

If someone can’t accept your no, then you know the person is probably not a true friend – if it’s in your personal life – or doesn’t have enough respect for you if it’s in a work situation. All the more reason to be firm and not to feel compelled to give in.

Be selfish

Not a good trait normally but when it comes to work situations or situations where you need to put your own needs first, do it. You’ll notice everyone else does it too. If you prioritise someone else’s needs above your own, you’re the only one who will suffer.