How To Say No.
Saying No. Do you know how to refuse a request? Of course you do. NO is a simple word. But do you have trouble saying NO to the numerous requests that come your way and take your time?
At the end of a well-planned week you find you have said YES so often to the needs of others. You realise that you have done very little of what you really wanted to get done for yourself.
So lets’ discuss some ways of how to say NO to yourself (yes yourself) and others, avoiding the overwhelming feeling and up your refusal skills.
There are ways of saying NO that can put the requester offside. There are ways of saying NO so elegantly to requests, that the requester does not even realise they have been refused.
So you’ve come to the conclusion that saying yes to the request is NOT the way to go. It’s time to practice how to say NO graciously and without giving offense.
If the response “YES” to a request is automatic for you, practice substituting it with something like “I’m not sure if that will work, can I get back to you in a couple of hours/days?”
Learning how to say no can mean saying ‘maybe’ more often.
Give the right impression:
Be careful not to give the impression that your answer will be most likely be yes so the person asking goes away feeling it is already a done deal.
They will then feel more let down and maybe annoyed if it turns out to be NO. Keep your tone neutral or even veer on the side of a refusal. The “I’ll get back to you” time will allow you to ponder on the following questions and make a wise decision:
What is the real benefit I will get personally/professionally if I agree to do this (especially if it is a voluntary project)?
How will doing this extra task affect my focus on doing the really important things I need to do to achieve my goals?
If I agree to this, will I be giving up precious time that could be spent on my goals, with my family or on leisure activities and renewing my energy?
These questions are about making it OK to have your needs and what you want to do, at least as important as the needs and requests of others.
Here are some more strategies for mastering saying No elegantly:
‘I’d love to help you however I’m really busy’.
Ask them to tell you about the project and say that if you think of something or someone who can help, you’ll get back to them.
‘It just doesn’t work for me to do that now, but can I suggest…’
(and come up with someone else who may be able to help).
If asked why it doesn’t work, avoid getting drawn into a long explanation which could lead to counter arguments and your giving in and saying YES.
Keep repeating ‘It really just doesn’t work for me right now’.
I’d love to help but I have a lot on at the moment’
Then explain you really couldn’t do justice to what is needed.
Share some of your strategies.