Tuesday, February 18, 2014

When “No” Is the Right Answer

How hard is it to say “no” to a special request from your boss or when a new account walks in the door?

Very hard.

Consider a time when you are already so overworked that you knew ahead of time that you could not turn in the quality work your boss expected of you. Or think about the consequences of taking on a new account before thoroughly evaluating whether you can really deliver what they need.

You should say “no” when the consequences of refusing the request are less than the consequences of saying “yes.”

Don’t give the knee-jerk response that avoids discomfort in the short-term but invites disaster in the long-term. Take the time to think it through. Then, if you decide “no” is the right answer, deliver the news in a way that shows your intentions are to be supportive. Paint a picture of the consequences of saying “yes” and then offer to work on the solution. 

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