Table of contents:
- 1. Say "Yes, and …"
- 2. Agree to complete part of the assignment
- 3. Reframe the request
- 4. Suggest an alternative solution
- 5. Ask for help from a colleague, but follow the implementation yourself
2023 Author: Malcolm Clapton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-07-28 10:38
Many fear that they will be deemed uninterested in the job if they refuse a request from their superiors. In fact, in this way you will only show responsibility. After all, you will be much more productive and do more if you have time to rest.
Bosses often ask us to stay late, work on weekends, attend a conference on the very day we go to a concert, help a colleague with a report. While being able to work in a team is very important, it is equally important to be able to set personal boundaries and enjoy the work. Here are five ways to refuse such requests without using the word no.
1. Say "Yes, and …"
If your boss insists that you delay and finish the report, acknowledge that you heard it, but immediately set a time limit. Instead of “No, but…” say “Yes, and…”. For example: “Yes, and I also have an appointment today that I cannot reschedule. By what time do you need a report? This will let you know that you are ready to help, but you cannot stay at work all evening. Having specified the urgency of the order, you will be able to offer the most convenient option for yourself.
2. Agree to complete part of the assignment
Perhaps your boss has asked you to join an important project that you are interested in, but that you would not like to lead. Offer to help with a part of the project that you definitely have time for. Say: “I don’t think I will be able to take on the whole project, because now it takes me all the time to…. But I will have time to analyze the data if someone else draws up a report."
3. Reframe the request
Break your answer into three parts. First, acknowledge the importance of asking, "I understand it's very important to be on time." Then explain the situation: "I had something else planned a few weeks ago and would not like to miss it." At the end, offer to either come early on Monday morning, or to help colleagues in advance so that they can cope with the task in your absence. Agree to change your plans only as a last resort.
4. Suggest an alternative solution
Be clear about why you are giving up and suggest another solution to the problem. For example: “I cannot stay after work today because I need to pick up my child from kindergarten. But I'll talk to X, maybe he can help you. Don't apologize too much. It is enough to name a convincing reason and offer a solution to the problem.
5. Ask for help from a colleague, but follow the implementation yourself
When you are asked to complete a task, you take responsibility for it. It is quite possible that you only need to monitor its implementation. If so, say, "If X prepares a draft, I'll finalize it tomorrow and submit it by the deadline." Just do not forget to mention the merits of a colleague later and to thank him in some way, especially if he had to stay late at work when you were at a concert or on vacation.
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