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Saying “No” Strategically

Categories: Assertiveness

You know the old adage, “When you want something done, give it to a busy person.” I am one of those people that get a lot of requests. The problem is that people (I) only have so much bandwidth.

In recent years, I’ve learned how to say, “No” without actually saying, “No.”

Here are some ideas for those of you who are in the same position:

  • I don’t have the time, however, let me give you names of some others that you can contact.
  • Let me check my schedule – I’ll get back to you.
  • This is what I can do …
  • This just isn’t a priority for me at the moment.

If this is a work request, you can also say:

  • I am currently working on A, B and C. What is your priority for me?
  • Get the deadline. It may be something that you agree to do, but not right away.

“No” can be a very empowering word. Just be sure to say it in a way that doesn’t offend others.

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