Sunday, 30 January 2011

How to Say No

Do you find yourself leaving the office late more often than not? Do you find yourself hardly any time left for yourself? You seem to be always in a rush and have a feeling not being in control of your own affairs.

In a world where cost cutting and multi-tasking a reality rather than theory, the worker is often given more and more responsibilities, leaving no time at all for anything else.

The most effective way to lighten your load is to simply say NO. For many this is not as easy as it sounds like. Often when we say no, we feel guilty. We feel we have committed a selfish act and have let the requestor down.

Saying no is not a negative behavior, on the contrary it is a positive concept. You have the right to say no. You have the right for self-determination. Of course there are certain jobs, like the police and military, saying no is a breach of discipline and can result in being sacked but almost all others are not as rigid.

The first step in cultivating the habit of saying no, is the awareness that telling no is not an selfish act. You have the right to evaluate your feelings. You have the right to make judgment and to take action on all matters pertaining yourself. You have the right to make decision for yourself, no matter illogical.

There are many ways of telling no and at the same time not been seen as hostile Here are 6 ways.

1. Just say no. Pretty obvious isn’t it. This is the best method. If you really mean no, then say it. You do not have raise your voice. Be clear and be definite. Look at the person making the request in the eyes and say no. Don’t justify, that will encourage in negotiation and discussion.

2. Pre-empt. As soon as you someone racing down the corridor and sure that a request is going to be made, let them know that you know. Intercept and say, “Hello, I know what is you are going to ask. You want to help you in that presentation, right”. I am sorry, I wish I could but I just can’t at the moment.”

3. Show your appreciation with a word or two. “It is a great offer but I am sorry I have another project I am putting my best efforts on”. You do not have to explain what other project you are doing.

4. Commend the other person. “I value you so much, and I love to work with you on this but I really cannot”.

5. Buy time. “Let me think about it’ or “Please give me some time to consider”. You can call back in 30 minutes or so and then tell politely no. The time that passed blunts your response and makes it easier for the other person to deal with.

6. State your principle. If you have a set of code that you live by and the request made is not in line with it, you can say so, “ I Don’t do this as a matter of principle.

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