Sometimes saying yes to every tough assignment may seem like the best thing to do.
You work an 18-hour day job, you say yes to that new project that means yes to that promotion, and yes to more responsibilities. Not to mention that the fear of losing the job prevents you from saying no to new projects and more work.
But what is the outcome? More stress related illnesses, exhaustion, and depression. Remember your manager will not change but you are.
Sometimes you may not have a choice, but if you do, how do you say no to the opportunity in a polite way such that it doesn’t sound offensive to the person offering it?
The question of where to say “No” at work should be a serious matter and you must consider it carefully. Much depends on the line of work.
But when that time comes, how do you avoid being regarded as “difficult to work with?” Here are some reasons to say no to work in a polite way and how it will be helpful to you.
When Is It Ok To Say ‘No’ At Work
When it hinders you from pursuing your interests
We all have something that we would want to pursue in future. But to accomplish this, some may opt to stick to a job first until they are ready to move to the next stage.
If you fall in this category, there are times you need to say ‘no’ to work when your boss assigns a task that does not fall under your job description. You can delegate the task to another person who is more qualified.
This earns you more respect. If you are not being compensated fully for the task and you feel that the task will take away time from pursuing what you want, a polite ‘no’ will show that you are committed and value your time.
When it hinders your ability to accomplish short-term and long-term goals
To achieve success, you need to prioritize and pay more attention to tasks that need more attention and yield much more. Keeping a list of short-term and long-term priorities and trying to fit all your tasks in each one of them.
If a task does not fit in any one of them, reject it and be straight that you cannot work on that project. Give a brief explanation that the task doesn’t match your current priorities and sometimes you can suggest an alternative. At the end, be focused and accomplish what you have set.
When it doesn’t propel you towards your goal
You can say no to a job or project that does not propel you to accomplish your key goals.
The reason why people do any job they come across and put all their effort in it is the thought that one day they will land that promotion, partnership or a huge cross-functional project.
At the end, you have limited time and resources, and you need to make the best out of this project. At that same time, you receive a new proposal that may be a distraction. What do you do?
The best thing to do is to go through it then politely explain that you are currently working on another, so you might not give the required attention to this one. Being honest will show you are committed to what you are working on.
When you are not happy with the decision
If you find yourself questioning why you are making time for a certain project, you should rethink your decision and evaluate if you are in for it for the love of it or for the sake of being there. You should push on or raise your opinion on processes that you disagree with.
You don’t have to agree with every decision that is made if it is not satisfactory, always get the courage to question your choices and seek clarification when something is not clear.
Having the right answers will allow you to make a decision before accepting the project and realize the amount of time and effort needed to complete the task.
How Saying ‘No’ is Helpful to You
Allows you to live up to your commitments
If you cannot compose yourself to say no, you have little time to devote to greater activities.
Some of us believe that they are efficient with time but the reality is that you need to focus your time and effort on your commitments to achieve maximum results.
You will find more comfort and satisfaction in your commitments if you are able to devote enough time to fewer tasks that grow you as a person.
Enables you to pursue other opportunities that arise
It requires a lot of gumption to turn down a task or job. In the beginning, it may be hard since you don’t know if you will land another project or client to close another deal. But every one of us at some point may say no to different tasks.
Some can do this by sending signals of being committed to something else or overstretched in a certain assignment. But having the ability to say no allows you to open up to new opportunities and enable you to exercise what you know fully.
Allows you to be the best at what you do
If you learn to say no to things that do not match your interest and yes to tasks that you have a true passion, you will have great drive and motivation to perform the roles you really love doing.
The more effort and time you dedicated to what you are passionate about, the more you become innovative, productive and successful in your endeavors. At the end of the day, it’s about making knowing when to say yes and no to a job or project.
Enables you to choose clients selectively
Sometimes you can get a client who is difficult to deal with especially they hail all sort of complaints on different things. It can be a distraction to you and you end up not delivering your best on the project.
Difficult clients are a nightmare and sometimes they may push you so hard to your limit such that you become emotionally drained. They take much time, energy and resources.
When you first meet a client, look for red flags. If you sense that they may be difficult to handle or the nature of the project may be beyond what you can handle, don’t be afraid to say no and recommend the client to someone else. This will save you time and resources.
You live a healthier and more satisfactory life
Doing a lot of work can make you depressed and can lead to stress-related illnesses.
Having the ability to say no when you don’t agree with a certain project will give you the freedom to say yes to opportunities that are within your passion, strength, and talent.
People who realize this have a greater satisfaction and more time to exercise and live a healthier and more satisfactory life.
Saying no at work is a hard decision to make, but sometimes you need to develop the skill to say no politely. You want to sound good at it so practice earlier.
Remember you don’t want to be seen as “not a team player” or being described as difficult or lazy. These tips will help you get through the process of saying ‘no’ and reap the benefits of making such a decision. Try them out.
Eva Wislow is a blogger and career coach at CareersBooster resume writing services. She is on a mission to help people find their true calling. Eva finds her inspiration in writing and peace of mind through yoga.