How to Say No in Business

How to Say No in Business

no thanksAre you too nice or too obliging to say no?

It may seem so much easier to say yes because saying no can lead to arguments, but if saying yes all the time is affecting your job productivity and/or your personal life then you need to take a moment to ask if you have…

“The Curse of Being Nice”

You could be trapped in behaviours by your subconscious thoughts and experiencing concerns of not being liked, being labelled as unhelpful, unapproachable or selfish!

If we constantly say ‘yes’ when we actually mean ‘no’ then resentment can seep out of us like toxic gas. You are not responsible for other people’s emotions, so if you say ‘no’ to doing your colleague a favour, they may well also resent you for it but that is their problem to overcome, and not yours.

You have to separate yourself from the emotions of others.

Saying YES can often seem like an arrogant act because you gain pleasure from being ‘wanted’, but this in itself can become a destructive pattern of behaviour because this often pulls you off track from keeping appointments with your own needs and fulfilling your role within your organisation.

When you say yes to someone, you’re actually saying no to yourself. That is worth keeping in mind every time you’re approached by someone who needs your input, time or help.

Be honest in why you can’t help out on this occasion.

When you come from a place of honesty you help to break down barriers and better manage your own workload rather than someone else’s. This doesn’t make you selfish, it just means you’re in control of what you do and when you do it.

Often the thought of saying no to a client can give you feelings of great discomfort and if suppressed can lead to a breakdown in confidence and the ability to communicate effectively.

When you effectively explain your reasoning behind your ‘no’ answer this leads to an understanding of your situation and the reason’s behind your seemingly negative expression become much clearer often leading to an appreciation of your honesty.

This level of openness with your client’s, colleagues and even yourself leads to a greater appreciation for each others time and workload, and a greater understanding of reality.

Many organisations now expect employees to do much more with less resources and time. It’s easy to say yes to meet demands because you want to impress your boss, your client and your colleagues, and try and project a good impression. You may think this is the best way to develop and advance your career but it’s not.

“People need to change their mindset about agreeing to everything,” says Susan Newman, Ph.D., a social psychologist and the author of The Book of No. “By saying no, you can focus on your goals.” Saying yes to everything can damage your reputation and hurt your career.

If you’re asked to become involved in a project because you’re the best person with the skills required then you could be more inclined to say yes, but the more advanced your position the less likely you would have the time or the capacity to help fulfil the need.

When you do find yourself in the position of having to say no, explain your reasons and try to provide some guidance or suggest an alternative solution for them so your ‘no’ isn’t taken as a negative experience.

Whenever you find yourself in the difficult position of turning someone down, try to help them in any way you can, that way no one is let down and everyone can remain productive within the organisation.

Before you ever say yes ensure you take the time to understand the pros and cons of saying it. If you’ve said yes to something and then fallen behind on another client’s work or project then you’re going to have a lot of explaining to do, so it really doesn’t always pay to be helpful.

Remember; when someone in a work situation asks for your help or time on something it’s usually because you have the skills or the know how to get it done, so decline gracefully and thank them for coming to you and give them some guidance on how they can effectively achieve their objectives themselves.

If you’re a yes person then saying no will not come easily to you, and if no comes all too easily then you can certainly use the advice in this article to help you become a little more amiable in your delivery and approach.

If your team or organisation could do with some training on how to say no in business then please get in touch to discuss the different training solutions available to you.