Learning How to Say No at Work

Do you find yourself working late because you had back to back meetings all day and no time to do your own work? Do you work on the weekend just to catch up?

Why aren’t you saying no more at work?

I think there’s a couple of reasons.

????We are wired to be part of the group. It’s safe to be part of the group. Cooperating keeps us in the group.

????We are socialized to believe that other people’s needs are more important than our own. How many times do you remember your mom making dinner when she should have been in bed sick?

????We are afraid of missing out. We think that there will be some information or opportunity that will be lost to us if we say no.

????We underestimate the amount of work that we have on our own plate. This is called the planning fallacy and we all do it.

In my experience, not saying no leads to overwhelm, overworking, resentment, pressure and anxiety. It behooves us to learn how to say no.

So how can you learn to say no?

1. Pause. Stop yourself from answering right away. Create some space.

2. Say “I’d like to think about it”.

3. Ask yourself:

❓Do I really want to? Why or why not?

❓Does this align with my priorities?

❓Can I get my goals done if I say yes?

❓What’s the worst case scenario of me saying no and can I live with that?

4. Respond with honesty and bravery

????????If it’s a hell no, thank them for thinking of you, but tell them you’re not interested.

????????If it is a meeting/conference call, ask what they need from you specifically. If the answer is nothing, tell them to send you the recording or meeting minutes. If there is a specific thing they want, ask them if you can go first and then drop from the call/meeting.

????????If it’s your boss asking you to take on something else and you don’t know how you will work it into your current priorities, ask them which priority you should put on the backburner in order to take this on. PS. Make sure you are keeping a list of all your priorities handy.

????????If you find yourself taking on other people’s responsibility because they aren’t doing what they are supposed to, stop. Let them take accountability.

If you are like me, you would much rather people answer honestly than say they will do something and then either not do it or be a resentful mess when they do it. Other people want that too.

Practice these four steps. Start with something small. Be brave. Say no when you really don’t want to.

Remember, no is a decision. Yes, is a responsibility.PS: Are you the person who constantly says no to impromptu invitations because you have too much work to do? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have spaciousness in your life to be able to accept these kinds of invitations with no guilt? I can help you free up 90 hours in 90 days so that this and other fun things are a possibility. Schedule a call with me now!