Finding smart ways to say no can be difficult especially when it comes to saying no to your boss. Often we find ourselves feeling like we are treading on eggshells when it comes to communicating with your superior in the workplace. While being careful with what you say and do is important, keeping your cool and knowing your limits is also vital. Below are 9 smart ways to say no to your boss without losing your job. Check them out and discover what works best for you and your situation.
1. Remind Your Boss Of Your Current Workload
Being that we all are human, we can only take on so much responsibility before life becomes a little too hard. Do not let it all stress you out to the point where you put your health and mentality at risk. Remind your boss of your current workload and projects you are working on.
By showing that you are at work on a variety of other important tasks, you show your boss that you have taken on some responsibility already and that you are working on completing them in a timely manner before you begin anything else. Do not be shy to use this technique. Saying no without expletively saying it in this case is a great way to keep everything neutral and as stress free as possible.
2. Say No Without Really Saying No
Have you ever heard of saying no without really saying it as? Certain ways to do so include, using your body language to convey the message and changing tone of voice without being offensive. Use expressions such as “When would you need this done by? I would love to help but…” Make sure you explain yourself clearly in order to convey the message that you cannot but avoid saying no to new projects out right to your boss. Instead think of ways to let your boss know that you would really rather not.
3. Plan On Making Changes To Your Schedule
Sometimes saying no to right now situations when feeling over-burdened is a great tactic. Once again, explain what you are working on when your boss approaches you and see if there are changes that can be made in order for you to complete all that is asked of you.
Perhaps they can suggest having colleagues work on some tasks to help share in the burden. After all, a work environment is supposed to be a team! Plan to make changes to your schedule and ask around the office for help and support if needed. Do not neglect your resources and enjoy working as a unit. Maybe changing your schedule will not have to be done after all.
4. Question Your Boss’s Needs
Do not be afraid to question your boss’s needs. Ask your boss, calmly of course, about the purpose of certain projects and why it needs to be done at this time. If your plate is full, let them know. If not, reevaluate whether it is worth you questioning to avoid appearing idle in the workplace. Example responses include “How important is this?” or “I have a full schedule of tasks ahead. Why does this project need my attention now?” Use a calm yet confident voice as this may help your boss in reevaluating his own priorities and whether or not this task can be completed by themselves.
5. Pitch An Alternative Solution
If you fear saying no, try offering another solution to fix a project or something that needs to be completed. Examples include offering suggestions on how to make things less stressful in terms of the proposed work or asking for the work to be divided between groups so that it is able to be completed on time. For smaller projects that you may feel over burdened with, ask your boss if perhaps there is someone in administration or an intern that can be of help. Alternative solutions can limit stress and benefit everyone involved.
6. Suggest Colleagues
Suggest colleagues that might be better trained to complete the task than you. Think that something your boss wants you to do is out of your job description? Make suggestions about others who may be more equipped than yourself to handle it. Examples include being asked to write a report about IT management yet your position is in human resources.
Suggest a co-worker who does work in IT who is more knowledgeable about the subject and can better answer questions. If your boss prefers for you to write it for whatever reason, try asking if there is a way if perhaps you could partner with a co-worker to get the job done. Do not stress yourself out and use your resources.
7. Communicate Your Limits
Let your boss know what your limits are and when. If things are not going so well for you, let your boss know that you might not be feeling the best you can feel to complete a task with quality.
8. Make Sure Everything Is Clear From The Beginning
Make sure people know your limits from the beginning. By being clear I mean, make sure that your boss knows what you are best at doing, how you can help them and why you are there in the first place. It is all too often that once a job begins, employees often find themselves doing extra projects outside of the job description. If you are not willing to take on this extra work, let your boss know from the beginning that you would rather use your skills elsewhere to benefit the company.
9. Schedule A Meeting
If all else fails, make sure to schedule a meeting with your boss and confront the situation. In the meeting let your boss know your limits and whether you are feeling stressed. Do not let yourself become a doormat, always the person your boss goes to when looking to get anything and everything done. Remind your boss why you choose to work for them in the first place and emphasize your skill set and what you can and would like to focus on.
Focus on staying relaxed and confident as you approach your boss with one of these ways of saying no. Emphasize how important you think all work is to the company but remind them what purpose you are there to serve.
Remember to look on the bright side of things! If you feel unsure about how to approach your boss about something you do not want to do, pay attention to the way others interact with them. These 9 smart ways to say no can definitely get the point across. Use your talent where it is best needed.
Have you ever had to say no to a boss? What helped you get through it?