|Fulfillment@Work: FOUR WAYS TO SAY NO AT WORK
July 23, 2004
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Published by Joel Garfinkle, Dream Job Coaching
1. Four Ways to Say No at Work
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4. Coaching Client - Words Of Wisdom
Four Ways to Say No At Work
As you try to manage your current work environment and all of its responsibilities, you may notice how hard it is to say no to new projects or assignments. Most people accept new responsibilities at work without any resistance, feedback, or push back. Often I hear clients say, "It's only one more thing" or "I can handle it" or "I want to prove myself." You say yes when you know you should say no. Here are four ways to say no and provide feedback and push back at work without appearing uncooperative. After applying these tips, you'll begin to notice a change in your workload, a decrease in the pressure you feel, and an increase in your overall productivity.
1. Never commit immediately.
No matter what type of project or assignment you are given, you always need to take at least a few minutes before replying to the person making the request. First check your calendar and workload. Look at all your projects, priorities, and responsibilities and see if the request can be accomplished within a reasonable time frame. Time, energy, effort, and prioritization need to be considered before moving forward with an answer. So, instead of saying, "Yes, I can do it and get it done tomorrow," you'll respond, "I can't do it right now because I have to complete projects X, Y, and Z by (date), but I could get it done a week from now."
2. How critical is this new project or assignment?
It's important to understand how critical this project is in relationship to who wants it done and why is it considered so important. People often state what they need, but it's not exactly what they want. The need can be based on pressure they are feeling without taking into consideration the big picture and the real sense of urgency. You can determine how critical a project or assignment really is only after you've taken a look at all the parameters.
3. Provide feedback.
Provide feedback to the person who is making the request so he has a reasonable understanding of your situation. Share all of the projects and responsibilities you have on your plate. This will give the individual an overall perspective of the situation so he won't become critical of your push back. He will know and understand the importance of your current responsibilities in relationship to his project and can become an advocate who helps you come up with the best solution possible.
4. Set up realistic and accurate expectations.
The only way you'll know if expectations are realistic and accurate is by taking into consideration everything that is going on instead of evaluating the situation based solely on the request being made by one person and his need. Allow yourself plenty of breathing space. Don't expect so much of yourself that all your projects suffer because you took on one more.
Want more help and support with saying no at work? Contact me at (510) 339-3201 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Quotes of the week
"The sea is dangerous and its storms terrible, but these obstacles have never been sufficient reason to remain ashore ... Unlike the mediocre, intrepid spirits seek victory over those things that seem impossible ... It is with an iron will that they embark on the most daring of all endeavors ... to meet the shadowy future without fear and conquer the unknown."
~ Ferdinand Magellan, Explorer (c. 1520)
"As long as you are trying to be something other than what you actually are, your mind wears itself out."
~ J. Krishnamurti
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I think that I'm really becoming a different person in some ways. I'm so excited by this process and the continual level of excitement is really amazing. When I was explaining my career change to someone at work the other day, she said, "You are really passionate about this!" That's the first time that word has ever been used to describe me.
~ A Coaching Client
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