When Saying “No” is the Best Thing You Can Do

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Some of us have an aversion to saying the word, “no.”

It may be because of the way we grew up, our personality type, or something we’ve learned over time.

No matter why the word “no” is uncomfortable, there are times when it is the best thing you can do as a Manager.

Before we jump into when to say “no,” to successfully say the word “no,” we have to be honest with ourselves.

We have to be willing to look at and admit what our limitations are and what we can handle before we can successfully say “no.”

When you are honest with yourself, then you can say “no” when…

1. You cannot deliver on something in the way it is being asked of you

We’d all love to believe that we can meet every deadline, fulfill every creative idea, and keep all of the balls in the air all of the time.

And, if we are honest, sometimes the requests being made of us may not always be feasible.

If you cannot deliver, try something like, “That won’t work for me right now because… And here are a few ideas that are possible…”

Remember, having the intention of wanting to help, while being honest enough to say when you can and can’t, will help you and everyone else.

If you can’t deliver in the way that is being asked of you, try to come up with some solutions for how you can still meet the need and present those ideas.

This communicates that this option doesn’t work right now, and I have some ideas that can! 

2. When you aren’t comfortable doing something

Sometimes we are asked to do something that we aren’t comfortable with.

Maybe you feel a gut check, or a tension in your neck or throat.

If you find that you are feeling uncomfortable or uneasy about a request, allow yourself the ability to say “no” temporarily so you can pause, assess what’s behind you feeling that way, and then decide what is right for you.

If you still feel uncomfortable, you may want to share why with the person who is asking.

If that doesn’t feel doable, give yourself the permission to say “no” to the request because it is what is right for you.

And, this is a prefect time to give a couple of other ideas what are possible!,

3. When you are burning out and taking on too many responsibilities

 If you are reading this, you are probably an over-achiever.

One thing to know about over-achievers is that we say “yes” sometimes more than is sustainable, and we set ourselves up for potential burn-out.

When you find that you are stretched too thin, be honest with yourself and find things you can say “no” to.

When you do say “no,” and the work needs to get done, ask yourself, “who could successfully accomplish these extra things instead of me?”

This may be a great time for delegating and trusting others on your team to get the job done.

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