Saying no is difficult, particularly for women apparently. It’s even harder in the work place.

Could this be the reason why you are not excelling at work?

Read on to understand why saying no is a good thing and how to do it.

Benefits of saying no

Saying no at work will help you by:

  • Freeing up time
  • Empowering you. Shows you are not a push over
  • Identifies you as a leader not a follower
  • Increases efficiency and quality of existing work
  • Reducing stress levels
  • Gives you an opportunity to shine

How to say no

The benefits of saying no are probably fairly obvious, it’s how you do it that’s the hard thing!

So how do you say no?

  1. Just say no

Like the Grange Hill song!

If asked to do something that you don’t want to do and you have adequate grounds to say no, then just say it. Don’t be apologetic or be over sorry, just politely say no with a brief explanation.

  1. Job Description

Know your job description. Understand what your company is paying you to do, or more importantly not paying you to do.

  1. Set boundaries with your boss

Don’t give your boss the opportunity to ask you to do something you don’t want too. Explain what your boundaries are in terms of work load or responsibilities.

For example, if you are organised and don’t like last minute requests, tell your box.

  1. Ask for time to consider

When asked to do something that you are not sure you want to do, give yourself some breathing space and ask for time to think about the request.

  1. Ask for more money

Use saying no as a leverage to ask for a pay rise. If the request is considerable and it falls outside your job description say you will consider the additional responsibility if offered a pay rise.

  1. Ask for additional resources

If asked to take on more work, explain you will gladly do, but you will need an additional team member to absorb some of the work load.

  1. Ask what work you can relinquish?

Outline your current work schedule with your boss and ask for their advice as to what you can sacrifice or give to someone else to do?

  1. Offer a solution

Say no, but offer an alternative solution for you doing the work. Another colleague who you have noticed is not as busy? Outsourcing the work? Automating etc. etc.


Saying no is about understanding your own worth and setting out your stall with your bosses. Letting them know in a respectful manner what is acceptable to you, what isn’t and the reasons why.

You shouldn’t be petulant and inflexible, definitely not. Don’t become that person!

But it’s often the case, particularly if you are very capable, that an unreasonable amount of work can be given to you until you say stop.

Remember if you have too much to do, you won’t shine. It’s as simple as that.

For further reading see:

Would love to hear your views on this. E-mail me at:



Click here for a copy of my free e-book: The Happiness Revolution: Instant Happiness Volume. In the book I outline 13 ways to instantly improve your mood, now!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This