Polite Refusal or the Art of Saying “No”

We are often afraid to refuse or say “no” to avoid offending, angering or disappointing people. We are also scared to impact the already established good business relationships, but is our loyalty always beneficial? In this blog, we will discuss how to learn to say “no” without infringing on the interests of your own and loved ones?

How to learn tactically to refuse and minimise stress in a situation where you have to say “no”?
Below ten steps will help to rebuild consciousness and become more decisive. Afterwards, continuously agreeing to others requests place risk on our interests and the needs of our loved ones.

1. Learn to value your time. Make a list of responsibilities: work, children, home, time for yourself, personal life. Does not the schedule very tight? Do not we need a good reason to break it?

2. Decide on priorities. What is more important for you: a long-planned dinner with your parents or a get-together with a friend looking to spend the evening? Is it going to a nightclub with colleagues or preparing an important project? It is up to you to decide. The most important your decision must be conscious.

3. Say no more often. Repetitio mater studiorum est. (Latin: Repetition is the mother of all learning). More you often refuse supplicant; it will be easier to say “no” next time. Sometimes, the absolute “no and once again no” is the only way to convey your position to others.

Do not take on too much. Excessive workload reduces your productivity and compromises the entire workflow.

4. Do not apologise. We usually precede the rejection with a polite apology. However, it gives some people a reason to think that we feel guilty and are quickly ready to back down in case of pressure. You have to be firm: protect your time until the last minute.

5. Do not try to please everyone. Many insecure people try to earn universal approval, going to others on the lead. They believe in gentleness and desire to help them to receive an appreciation on merit. People get used to it and start taking your kindness for granted.

6. Refusal to the boss. Once again, your boss loaded you with work until late at night. You believe that you demonstrate your unwillingness to work hard by giving up numerous tasks. However, putting too much strain on yourself reduces your productivity and compromises the entire workflow. Why not explain to your boss that you can do much better with his assignments by following a clear plan with a list of priorities? And let them stop going beyond the working day.

7. Anticipate the advance of applicants. It is much easier to inform the requestor that you’re busy before the request is made. For example, you know that the team lead will try to dump you all backlogged team tasks during the team meeting. Ensure you have announced in advance during the meeting that you have just started a new challenging task and are very busy.

Instead of immediate response to the query, say that you will think and let them know later on your decision.

8. “I will think about it.” Instead of immediate response to the query, say that you will think and let them know later on your decision. This strategy will give you time to carefully consider your priorities and consider all the pros and cons of refusal. Moreover, delayed rejection resembles less rude.

9. “Maybe next time.” If there is something in the proposal that attracts you, maybe not now, but in the long term, it is advisable to limit yourself to the following phrase: “I think this is not a bad idea, but now I do not have time at all. Perhaps you could get in touch with me, let we say tomorrow/in a week/in a month and so on.”

10. “Perhaps it is me.” The classic excuse when departing from a colleague in situations. However, it is essential to be sincere. Is the request was worth your attention and was consistent? If yes, admit it and compliment the requestor; however, suggest that, unfortunately, not this time. Perhaps this can be revised again sometime.

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