The Art of Saying “No” in the workplace

Communication is the lifeline of every workplace. One of the challenges for busy workplaces is dealing with the various day to day pressures that may arise from office situations. It is always a challenge to get messages across clearly and accurately. Saying no to requests, is a challenge for both employees and supervisors. Learning to say “No” plays an important role in maintaining a healthy workplace.

From the Employee’s Perspective:
It’s important to remember that it’s not always appropriate to say no in the workplace. It’s important to make a considered decision rather than reacting or just saying yes when you are unable meet the unrealistic expectations.

If your supervisor assigned a project or a task to you on top of your current workload how would you handle the situation?

First evaluate the situation as there may be practical reason why you need to turn down a request. One of the risks as a high achiever is that you get asked to do more and more and it becomes too much. You become stressed and your work life balance suffers. It is your responsibility to manage your work life balance to minimise the risk of burnout.

How to make the assessment whether to say No
1. Know what your current workload is. eg list of current projects or assignments. Then you can see if the new request fits with your existing commitments.

2. You need to take the time to find out what the Supervisor’s request is by listening and asking question to understand what the expectations are. Are they realistic? When making an assessment of our current situation it’s important to assess whether you have the time and the resources and skills to get the job done correctly and efficiently and in a timely manner.


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