Why It Is Important To Say NO At Work

Why It Is Important To Say NO At Work

We all know how difficult it is so “No” to your boss at work. You may think people will dislike you, think you are entitled or question whether you are a team player.

“Saying No has always been important,” says William Ury in his book, The Power of a Positive No, “but perhaps never as essential a skill as it is today.” According to him we have a hard time saying no because we want to maintain a good relationship. But he also points out that sometimes we say yes even to strangers. And this is because we want to keep up appearances of being helpful and positive always.

But it is very important to say no sometimes. And here are some reasons why so.

It saves you from distraction

If you take on every request and job assigned to you, you are left with no scope to prioritise what is important. If you are good at something, don’t take on peripheral tasks. A dancer should not agree to bring refreshment along for other team members if it is going to leave less time for her practise. You need to create boundaries around what you are good at doing and remain focussed on that. This is also a message by Steve Jobs.

(Image credits: aveloroy )

Successful people know how to say “no.”

This is something they’ve had to teach themselves, because they too struggled with the “no” word at some point in time. But with science showing us that “no” improves productivity and mental health, none of us can afford to keep saying “yes.” In the words of Warren Buffet, “the difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say no to almost everything.”

While it important to say, what is more important is how you say no. A direct no is more jarring. It is better to provide solutions or give alternatives accompanying your no. If your boss asks you to work over the weekend, instead of a direct no, ask him whether you can take a leave on Monday if you work on the weekend. Such solutions pave way for mutually benefitting resolutions.

Hence, say no and say it politely if you feel your time can be better utilised at work.

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