How to say ‘no’ without feeling guilty

Do you have a problem saying no to people? Do you find yourself taking on other peoples work or doing things you don’t have time for or that are not really your job? Do you take it on anyway for fear of disappointing others?

Well you are not alone. I’d like to share a simple trick that has worked for many of my clients facing this issue. Let’s do it together… What is your answer to the questions below?

What do you believe about McDonalds?

What do you believe about a fancy restaurant that takes a week to get a booking?

How about a Doctor that you get in to see quickly, versus a specialist you wait months to see?

What is the difference in perception of quality, expertise, and demand of the above examples?

Now, following this line of thinking, and linking it back to your work, what is the potential perception of someone who always says yes? Do they not have enough work to do? Are they not skilled enough that they are in demand, and so are always available?  Putting two and two together yet? :o)

Someone once said the value of your ‘yes’ means nothing if you can’t say ‘no’.

We train people how to treat us. If you don’t value your own time, believe me, no one else will either. 

Here are some simple tricks for saying no whilst still maintaining the relationship.

Say yes if you really can/want to do it, but offer conditions, such as ‘I would be happy to do this. I currently have xyz to complete and so will be able to realistically start on/complete this work next month. How does that fit with you?’ Or ‘Here is what I have on the go, and the time frames associated with them. I have a window here…would that give you the quality and timeliness you need? I can recommend others who could help in the meantime?’

Remember that no-one will value your time if you don’t value it first. Get good at setting boundaries with others and watch your productivity soar.

Let me know how you go ;)