We are all faced with tough decisions every day at work, and while our first instinct might be to graciously accept extra duties, it can also lead to an overwhelming workload. Saying yes to every special request may make you popular around the water cooler, but taking on too many additional tasks can harm your overall performance. In this post, we introduce three helpful tips for saying no at work.
3 Tips for Saying No at Work
1. Consider the outcomes.
Saying yes might seem easier than saying no, but before you decline or commit to any additional tasks, be sure to consider the consequences to both scenarios. Will this extra work cause you to neglect your own assignments? Will you disappoint your supervisor if you say no? Either way, be sure to consider all the scenarios before saying yes or no. Remember to ask for a timeline and respond before the deadline arrives.
2. Don’t hide behind technology.
No one enjoys saying no when someone needs help, especially a coworker, but the way you let them down is what will keep your professional relationship intact. When your colleagues ask for assistance and you are unable to help, don’t send an email or text message Instead, meet them face to face and let them know that you are unable to assist. It will show your compassion for them as a coworker and your respect for them as a professional. Saying no to your boss is a different matter. Think this through carefully! A great article suggests asking your boss to prioritize your work with you (including your current projects), offering a solution or taking a piece of the project. If you really need to say no, do so with an explanation.
3. Offer future help or suggestions.
Saying no once doesn’t mean that you will never say yes. Be sure to convey the fact that you are happy to assist in the future as time permits. Keep in mind that the task at hand still needs to be completed, and making suggestions of other colleagues that could lend a hand to your coworker.
Remember that, while every situation is different, taking on too much work because you feel bad saying no to a coworker is a surefire way to overwhelm yourself. It is important to convey a sense of teamwork, but don’t be afraid to occasionally turn down a request for assistance. Above all, be professional and courteous in every situation.
Menlo Partners Staffing provides temporary staffing and direct hire, contingent recruitment services for roles within accounting, administration, finance, human resources, marketing and operations. Contact us today by phone at 650-752-6193 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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