Sometimes saying no is a bad idea. Sometimes it’s just necessary to protect your time to achieve priorities or just to stay sane. Anyway, I thought this HBR Blog post had some useful insights:
Nine Practices to Help You Say No
by Peter Bregman
- Know your no.
- Be appreciative.
- Say no to the request, not the person.
- Explain why.
- Be as resolute as they are pushy.
- Establish a pre-emptive no.
- Be prepared to miss out.
- Gather your courage.
Check out the full post:
I’d add that you also need to remember that sometimes it can be political or career suicide to say know to some people – like the boss. big donors, or powerful influencers. In that case try discussing priorities and negotiate timeframes while acknowledging their ‘power position’ and avoiding passive aggressiveness.