How You Can Say ‘No’ Like a Pro

Say It Like You Mean It


April 17th, 2014

By Jeff Shuey |

One of the most difficult words for some people to say has just two letters. Yet, this one word can cause people to wince and feel guilty for saying it. There is no need to feel guilty for saying it if you have a reason. And, there is always a reason for deciding not to do something. The reason can be something you don’t need to share, but depending upon your personality you may feel compelled to share.

The truth is you don’t always need to back up your “no’s” with a reason, but usually the person asking wants to know why. Below are a few tips for saying no. For saying no with tact, sensitivity, and conviction. And, for sticking to it. There is NO need to feel guilty for saying no.

On the flipside of this there are some people that seem to revel in saying no. I’m sure they understand the meaning of the word, but I think they get a lot of satisfaction from just using the word.

The goal is not to avoid something that may be part of your job description. However, you also should not be the one everyone asks to do something just because they know you’ll agree.

Say No like a pro

First. Say It Like You Mean It.

  • State the facts – Just accepting something is not acceptable. If you have other commitments, and everyone does, you should feel comfortable enough in your own skin to state the reasons why you cannot and will not do something.
  • Repeat – Repeat your NO as many times as necessary.
  • Resist – Resist the urge to imply there may be a way for you to do what is being asked. Don’t say… “Maybe next time’’ unless you really mean it. If there is going to be no next time… let them know.

One thing learning how to say no does is it helps you to Stand Out in your Career. Your ability to confidently take on projects you know you can accept and complete is a reflection on you and your authenticity. Learning to say no is both a soft and a hard skill that is good to learn.

Just say No

Nancy Reagan said these three famous words in the 1980’s as part of her War on Drugscampaign. I’m recommending you learn how to say no too. It may be hard initially. It will be more of a challenge for some than others.

Read the rest of the article here.

[Image credit: marc falardeau via Flickr]


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