How To Say ‘NO’ At A Workplace?

There will be certain crucial times in workplace where you’ll have to say ‘NO’ or decline helping someone, it can be your Superiors/ Peers/ Subordinates and saying ‘NO’ to them is one challenging aspect at the workplace. Today, let us see how to politely say ‘NO’ at a workplace.

  • Say for e.g. you may have to say ‘NO’, for going out with friends in office hours (or) on a weekend as the programme is against your wish/ you want it on another day/ you don’t like such programmes/ there is nothing wrong going with them, but you want to save your little time to spend with your family, then don’t hesitate to say ‘NO’.
  • If you aren’t interested in accepting additional work, as you are too busy to handle the additional responsibility, then there is nothing wrong in saying ‘NO’. But how you put it matters, which you need to focus on.
  • Similarly, there is nothing much to think that saying ‘NO’ means that you are violating the company’s rules/breaking its integrity. When you are dedicated to the certain task assigned to you and if are really busy with it, saying ‘NO’ isn’t a sin.
  • Also, there is nothing wrong in saying ‘NO’ to a job that you are not comfortable doing or good at. If any job or work are assigned to you against your skill set, there is nothing wrong to say ‘NO’ to it, instead of screwing it up by doing it.
  • You have every right to say ‘NO’, to the work that is either illegal or against your values/ethics. It may be a job ordered/requested by anybody of any capacity in your organization, you can say ‘NO’.
  • You have every right to say ‘NO’ when someone practices abusive language or behavior with you or at the workplace. If you keep quiet you may be considered that you are okay with it.
  • You also can say a ‘NO’ to your additional work, when you are overly stressed out with your previous workloads because accepting new ones will affect your health.
  • Sometimes being good to others can land you in a soup, where people want to cash your goodness of can’t saying ‘NO’. So, it is important for you to learn to say ‘NO’.

How To Say ‘No’ To Your Boss?

If you are asked to take up some additional responsibility, saying an immediate ‘NO’ might look awkward or aggressive. Instead put it in an explanatory way, saying ‘I’m very busy with some work already and I had to complete it in a given time with given quality, if not I may put others in trouble post work and I don’t think I can complete my additional responsibilities with same quality and accuracy either, but ‘
if I find time surely, I would take up the new task’ can be a polite way of declining the additional responsibilities.

How To Say ‘No’ To Your Co-worker?

Your co-workers might ask you for help with their project as you are good at It and you are already running out of time with your own work. So, instead of showing your multitasking heroism, you can just say “I would definitely consider helping you but I’m in a very bad deadline with my project. So, I can’t waste a single minute with extra work till this time” or just postpone your help.

Also, analyze the task before saying ‘NO’, instead of just an immediate reaction, explain your reasons politely and show the alternatives if possible.

Also share them your work load and calendar.

How To Say ‘NO’ To Your Employees?

There will be employees, who want to respond to their messages all 24 hrs a day. Here you can clearly say a big ‘NO’ explaining your reasons.

How To Say ‘NO’ To A Client?

You can say ‘NO’ to your client who wants realistic quality in unrealistic time on low-priority projects.

You can also say ‘NO’to him when he/she asked you to refer someone, whom you can’t fully endorse.

Last Word

Being a straight forward will not always work, you’ll have to be helpful to your colleagues at times and don’t forget that you both are working for the same company and for a common goal.

So, please act wisely when genuine support is needed and be part of a team at its difficult times if your time permits.

Be honest and make sure your ‘NO’ is genuine and understood by them. To understand your ‘NO’, you’ll have to build a good reputation in your organization.

Take care of your tone while telling ‘NO’, the other person might not be against your ‘NO’ but should not be unhappy with your harsh/hesitant tone. You can also explain them through emails/chats if you are bad at telling them politely.

So, ‘NO’ is a new magic word that will protect you from falling into a million unnecessary problems. In spite of all the above, If you still can’t say ‘NO’ just replace it with a postponement/refer a better person/invite for a group discussion.

  • E. Hemachandra Prasad