Do you often say yes to a request for a favor from someone?
Do you ever give in to people’s demands, even if there is too much on your plate?
You want to be a leader and gain the trust of your team. You know that trusting and being comfortable with others is key to your productivity and effectiveness.
There is a fine line between liking people and pleasing them.
Sometimes, you must say no to be a leader.
Why not is just as important than why yes
If you don’t manage your urge to say yes to every opportunity, it can be disruptive and stressful.
Your schedule is already full of appointments and tasks. Overloading others to please them can cause overwhelm and make it more difficult to meet their requests.
You also compromise your own priorities. Each yes comes at a cost. You’re basically saying no to other opportunities. These could be:
Opportunities for networking
Improve your core product or service
Clients that are bigger and more satisfied
Time for your family and friends
You must learn to say no when you are not able to accomplish your short- and longer-term goals.
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There are ways to avoid hurt feelings or destroying a relationship.
1. “Let’s think about it.”
This is a polite way to ask for more time to review the request. You often need to think things over before making any decisions as a busy leader.
2. “The idea sounds fantastic! It’s as simple as that. . . ”
Start on a positive note and thank the person for thinking about you.
You can then reply with a reason why you don’t agree to the request or why this engagement is not for you.
3. “I can’t today. What about [insert a new schedule]?
This is the best way to go if you really believe that the request is worth looking at again in the future.
If you are certain that this is something you want again, you can offer to reschedule at an easier time when you have more time to devote your full attention.
4. “I’m sorry, I can’t.”
If you don’t have the time or desire to fulfill the request, a simple no is the best answer. You can be sure that there is no room for hopelessness and that you are still on track with your goals and schedule.
To best communicate your decision and the reasons behind, you can modify any of these four scripts.
How to say no when you’ve said yes
These scripts are useful for turning down requests as they come to you. What if you need to cancel after you have committed?
No one wants to be held back. However, you might need to take a step back and allow for opportunities that are most in line with your goals.
It won’t be easy but it’s important to be honest with yourself and the person you have agreed to work with. Be open and honest about your inability or unwillingness to complete the job.
Four steps to gracefully walk away from a commitment