Celestine Chua of The Personal Excellence Blog tells us how to just say no.
1. â€œI canâ€™t commit to this as I have other priorities at the moment.â€
If you are too busy to engage in the request/offer, this will be applicable. This lets the person know your plate is full at the moment, so he/she should hold off on this as well as future requests. If it makes it easier, you can also share what youâ€™re working on so the person can understand better. I use this when I have too many commitments to attend to.
2. â€œNowâ€™s not a good time as Iâ€™m in the middle of something. How about we reconnect at X time?â€
Itâ€™s common to get sudden requests for help when you are in the middle of something. Sometimes I get phone calls from friends or associates when Iâ€™m in a meeting or doing important work. This method is a great way to (temporarily) hold off the request. First, you let the person know itâ€™s not a good time as you are doing something. Secondly, you make known your desire to help by suggesting another time (at your convenience). This way, the person doesnâ€™t feel blown off.
3. â€œIâ€™m not the best person to help on this. Why donâ€™t you try X?â€
If you are being asked for help in something which you (i) canâ€™t contribute much to (ii) donâ€™t have resources to help, let it be known they are looking at the wrong person. If possible, refer them to a lead they can follow-up on â€“ whether itâ€™s someone you know, someone who might know someone else, or even a department. I always make it a point to offer an alternate contact so the person doesnâ€™t end up in a dead end. This way you help steer the person in the right place.
4. â€œNo, I canâ€™t.â€
The simplest and most direct way to say no. We build up too many barriers in our mind to saying no. As I shared earlier in this article, these barriers are self-created and they are not true at all. Donâ€™t think so much about saying no and just say it outright. Youâ€™ll be surprised when the reception isnâ€™t half as bad as what you imagined it to be.
Photo by funphotobox.