How to say NO

Time management skills - How to say no - How to delegate - Ability to avoid procrastination - Decision making skills

Saying no is one of the most important time management skills, but equally important is WHY to say no? At managing time it will be graspable easier how to say no, if it is clear, why and when.

If you are not experienced, carefully decide, where and when to say no. There doesn’t exist any rules, each no is individual. Never the less following some thoughts about why to say no and turning around the question:

Why should you say yes and act on a task?

  • If it is not your responsibility
  • If it can be done later and others are more important right now?
  • If you may soften it to a “yes, but”
  • If you may carry over the responsibility to the demander
  • If it is clever to delegate back

Answering such questions will give good arguments, why to accept a task or not. Frequently, people are taken by surprise, and they are angry about their too quick yes.

Quickly try to detect the background of a requested task

  • Is there some power game going on?
  • Does somebody try to rip you off?
  • Is there maybe even bossing or mobbing going on?
  • Or is it a normal request, that conflicts with your responsibility and/or time frame and can be negotiated in an adult manner with your dialog partner?

You see, it is not always necessary to really say no, the possibilities how to say no are numerous and simply refusing a task is not always a wise solution.

In some severe situations (bossing, mobbing) being able to say no could be a problematic skill, and may have the reverse effect. As soon as you are aware that such games are going on, look for professional help.

How to say no training - "As If" method

If a situation demands to say no, if you have decided to do so, then simply try to say no within you, do as if you had done it loudly. Carefully watch your inner reactions, what are possible consequences, how do you think, will your dialog partner react?

Check all thoughts that come up, as long as you feel it is necessary.

Naturally, this takes too much time, before you come to a decision. The intention is to train your attitude. You probably will not say no immediately at the right situation, if you really start to do this procedure.

You would not read these lines, if you are powerful and self confident enough. If you can say no, if it is no problem for you, your NO will be an uncomplicated matter.

A procrastinated no is a weak no and may be overrun by your dialog partner so it turns to an unwilling yes.

As stated elsewhere, most of us are no miracle healers so that the advice “say no” doesn't change people instantly, and they are not able henceforth to say no at the right moment.

Simply try the “as if” tactic (after having checked the points above in why saying yes) and learn by time to feel what goes on. You will experience a growing power after some time supporting you enough to say no loudly and audible.

Provided a healthy mind the discrepancy between consciously thinking no and saying yes will hopefully apply a healthful pressure to really say no loudly.

That’s only one possibility. As long as you are accepting all orders from collegues and try to do tasks, even if they are not your business, you steadily will run the risk of increasing your stress level. Imagine the consequences!

Which method you may use in which situation is up to you. Nobody can help you within the situation, but you can start to train by the “as if” method.

If consistently enough, you definitely will see results, alone because you are making repeatedly aware the possibility and necessity of sometimes saying no.

Giving advice to how to say no is a matter of self development. You will find excellent literature about that. Browse the web with “how to say no” and other related expressions, and you will find rich material.

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