Do you struggle to say no?
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Do you struggle to say no?

Do you ever find it difficult to refuse requests from colleagues or your manager, and as a result find yourself struggling to complete your work and manage your time effectively?

Whilst ‘no’ is one of the shortest words in the English language is often the word that we find hardest to say.  In this blog, we are going to explore some strategies for saying no

Let’s start by acknowledging that there is nothing wrong with saying ‘yes’, doing favours for other people, or taking on responsibilities. This is fine, however problems arise, if you keep agreeing to requests because you can’t say no or don’t know how to do so.

Here are some tips for when you wish to say ‘no’.

Consider your body posture. Don’t slouch or stare at the floor. Use direct eye contact, keep your head up, your posture should be upright. Speak in a calm voice yet loud enough to be heard.

Don’t jump in first. Are you the type of person that jumps in and volunteers before being asked? If you do this, you are making it very easy for the other person because you have volunteered without being asked! As a result, they don’t feel obliged to you.

There is no need to apologise. Don’t say ‘I’m sorry but…..’ When you apologise it suggests to the other person that you should be granting their request.

Don’t ask permission to say ‘no’. Saying ‘no’ is your right and if you ask permission, it sends a message to the other person that they are in charge.

Don’t make excuses or try to defend yourself for saying no. Offering excuses can be perceived as lying. If you say that you ‘can’t’ do something the other person will try to offer suggestions so that you can!

Don’t wait for the other person to accept your response. There is no need to keep explaining yourself to the other person. Don’t use passive language such as ‘is that ok?’. How do you then respond when they say ‘well no, it’s not ok! By asking for their acceptance of your refusal you are putting them in a position of power and subconsciously they will realise this and keep pushing for a yes.

Don’t back down. The first time you say ‘no’, the other person might ignore this. This is especially true if they are used to you saying yes! When they ask again, just repeat your ‘no’ in a more assertive manner.

Accept the consequences. Remember, whilst you have the right to say no, the other person does not have to like it. As a result, this could create unpleasant consequences and you need to recognise this possibility and accept it.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this article and would like to find out more, why not join us on the Level 3 Award in Education and Training which covers this and many other related topics?

For more information contact Marie O’Donnell at .

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