The Snitch

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I’d have to say no

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Dont fall to the bait of saying yes to every request that comes your way.

Don't fall to the bait of saying yes to every request that comes your way.

Many of us want to be liked. Maybe that’s why saying ‘no’ seems difficult in everyday situations. To the ear of a boss, colleague or customer, a ‘no’ may be insulting and even offensive. Every ‘yes’, no matter how trivial, takes up available time and energy. While a flat ‘no’ can damage relationships and stunt your career, some limits have to be set to prevent you winding up overloaded and overstressed.

Alec Mackenzie and Pat Nickerson, authors of The Time Trap, offers a five-step approach to get your ‘no’ across gently but firmly.

1. If there is a situation where you must decline a request, don’t say ‘no’ outright. The moment requesters feel denied or resisted, they stop listening and start building counter-arguments.

2. Instead, highlight that there might be a possible risk in the task or request. For example, open with a statement like, “I believe there may be a potential risk involved.” This way, the requester is curious and not defensive.

3. Let requesters see the risks graphically. For example, start sketching the risks on a pad of paper if you are both in the same room. This places their focus on the page and not on your face. They might also want the sketch for themselves for when they have to make their case to their own higher-ups.

4. Avoid mentioning any problem or inconvenience to yourself or your team. Your requester will expect you to manage your work risks in private.

5. Be prepared to illustrate workable options for every risk you list.

Written by KT

August 11, 2009 at 11:45 am

Posted in Personal career

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