Want to be successful at whatever you do – whether that’s being a great mum, best friend or self-employed author? Then there’s one sure way to get there. Or at least, a means to ensure you stay on the right track. And that’s learning to say ‘NO.
Yup, just two little letters can do more for your ambitions and goals than a night class in Business Motivation ever could. The reason for this is that if you want to make sure you don’t sacrifice your future plans to others then you need to have enough energy to be able to carry them out.
Someone who runs around after others all the time, not because she’s a born doormat, but rather because she’s frightened to say ‘No’ is just asking to end her days regretful and even a tad bitter. At least she will when she sees how others have succeeded where she just hasn’t had the time or energy to because she’s spent so much of it running around after others.
Ok, so how to do this ‘No’ business without making everyone hate you?
Ways to say ‘No’ when asked to embark on a task
- Give them a date sometime in the future. Point out you’re too busy to fit it in right now (and don’t let them persuade you that their project is so small it could be slipped in within the next few days). After all, if it’s that urgent, why don’t they get someone else to do it?
- Ask them to prioritize. This is in the case of a senior work colleague. You’re not telling them you can’t do what they’re asking but the fact you can’t do it on top of everything else you have to do – so get them to choose which is more important (in other words one of their projects will have to be shelved to accommodate this new one)
- Checking the old calendar trick. When pounced on by a tricky won’t-take-no-for-an-answer-type character delay a ‘No’ by telling them you’ll check your calendar first to see if you’re available. Then text or email your reply from the safety of your home or office.
Of course you could always just say no – but only after you’ve practiced the others. That’s because it can be difficult for the other person to accept. If so, doggedly repeat as necessary…
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