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  • Writer's pictureAyo Bamgbose, Assoc CIPD, MA, MSc, BSc

How To Decide To Say No

No. It's a word that only has one syllable and two letters, yet it can be one of the most difficult words to say. Since we were little, we are taught that saying no is a negative thing that hurts people and causes us to miss new opportunities. With this in mind, it's no wonder that our society feels uncomfortable telling people no. Saying no is not a bad thing, though and learning when to say it will allow you to take back control of your life.

Obviously, there are instances when you may not feel like doing something, but you absolutely need to. For example, you may not want to attend the schedule or unscheduled meeting that senior management has set, but you'll need to. The workplace duties related to your role may not be a place where you can say no, although there may have been many instances when you ought to say no.

How To Decide To Say No have

You have found yourself in a situation where you are unsure if you should say yes or no. Here are some guidelines to help you think about whether or not to say no to a request:

1. Don’t respond immediately

If you are unsure if you have the time, energy, or resources to fulfil a request, do not respond right away. The worst thing you can do is say yes immediately but then realize that you're incapable of fulfilling the task. Instead of responding immediately, ask if you can get back to them by the end of the day. Most scenarios will not be time-sensitive. So, you have time to reflect on whether you truly have the time and energy to take on this new task.

2. Think about your motivations

While you are considering whether or not to take on another project, think about your motivations. Would you say yes to the project purely out of obligation? Or do you truly want to take on the task? If you are only saying yes out of a sense of obligation, you should probably say no.

3. Assess your schedule

If you want to take on the task, you need to assess your schedule and truly take a hard look at whether or not you have enough time to commit to the project. When you're looking at your schedule, look at other work projects, family projects, and self-care time. You do not want to feel overworked or stretched thin by taking on another project.

If you found that your schedule is open for another project and you are excited about this task, say yes. There is no reason why you should not take on another event or project. If your schedule is overbooked, though, you should say no to the project even if it excites you.

It is easy to feel out of control in your life. One of the best ways to combat this is to learn how to say no. You can consider saying no to extra work projects, working after hours, volunteering in your child’s life, going out with friends, or making dinner for your family for a night. Even saying no to one of these items will greatly decrease your stress and make you feel more relaxed and appreciated.



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