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14 Practical Ways to Say a NO without Saying a NO. - Life School
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14 Practical Ways to Say a NO without Saying a NO.

Have you ever found yourself in an uncomfortable position where you WANTED to say a NO, but you ended up saying a YES?

 

And you felt so bad about it?

 

Has someone ever got upset with you because you said a ‘NO’ to them?

 

Are you scared that, if you say a NO, you will lose relationships?

 

Well, if your answer to the above three questions is a YES, the following pointers might be of some help to YOU.

 

How to Say No without Saying a No.

 

 

1. Offer alternatives- 
This will make you look generous without having to say no to that thing they were asking you to do. Do it in three steps.
*Appreciate that they thought of you.
*Explain how you have more on your plate than you can chew.
*Give the alternatives.

 

2. Say nothing-
This may be considered rude by many. Sometimes, just avoiding an answer makes the request go away.
People often forget what they had asked for.
They move on. Side effect – You might be seen as rude.

 

3. Ask for more information-
Once you receive the second request, ask for more information. Ask for some information that would be difficult to get.
This way you may never hear from them again.
4. Say, ‘maybe’-
It’s a brilliant way to gain time. After they get back to you with information, say you will have to think about it.
Give them a definite maybe.

 

5. Say, ‘not right now’- 
Say you have got a full plate of responsibilities right now. If they persist, give them a time in the distant future.
In all likelihood, they would have totally forgotten about it by then. Or, they would have done it themselves.
Or, they would have asked someone else to do it.

 

6. Ask if it is ok if you get back to them? –
This is a great way to say no. Say how much you really want to do this thing, but then you need to check some things before you can commit.

 

7. Say no by redirecting work to the same person who asked you to do it. –
This technique is best when someone comes to you with a big idea for something they would like done but they want you to do all the work.
In addition to the workplace, this often happens when you are in a volunteer role within a non-profit, religious, or other charitable organization.
When confronted with this type of request, respond with, “Interesting. Would you like to lead a volunteer committee to research this?”
When posed with this question, one of two things will happen. The person will either agree to help, which is great, or they will go away and leave you alone.

 

8. Use referrals to say a No –
This technique is best when you’re willing to provide assistance, but someone other than you could do a better job, or you need permission to perform the task.
In the first case, refer them to the person best able to assist them. In the second case, ask that they speak with your boss to gain permission.
The following two replies can be used respectively:
* I’m not the best person to help on this. Can I suggest you speak with…?
* I know he will be eager to help you out on this as this kind of work excites him.
9. Say, I would love to help you but … –
This technique is best when you feel uncomfortable saying no but you know you should. T
his technique allows you to say a No using the delegated authority of those higher than you within your organization.
Therefore, they might be disappointed but they will not be mad at you because it was not your decision.
The following examples can be used when this situation arises. Modify them based on your job type and the request made.
* Sorry, I would love to help, but I have already promised to help on another project and don’t have time to do both projects.
* Sorry, I would love to help, but I am spending all my time on the planning of our company’s new marketing initiative.
* Sorry, I would have loved to help, but the CTO has instructed me to focus on this new cloud-based project which it’s really important for our digital transformation.
10. Say a no by avoiding saying a yes – 
Stay away from the trap of saying Yes. Give any answer but DO NOT say a ‘yes’. Just avoid that word ‘yes’.
Examples of how to do this include:
* Hmmm, interesting. Let me think about it, and I’ll let you know.
* I won’t have the time for a month or two. Could you ask me again then?
* Those dates don’t work for me. Can you please send me other potential dates?
* My calendar is already full, but if something opens up, I’ll give you a call.
* I would like to help you, but I don’t know how. I’ will call if I can think of something.
If you use this technique, be careful that the person doesn’t misinterpret your comment and think you have agreed to assist them.
If they do, it could very embarrassing.
11. Say no by creating a gate keeper –
This is a common practice used by busy executives to reduce their level of distraction.
Your gatekeeper could be an administrative assistant who screens your incoming calls or handles your schedule.
It could you a family member if the request is from friends/relatives.
You can always say, “Please send me details through an email and mark it to my assistant/spouse so and so.”
They will revert to you.
12. Say No by pointing to a process that needs to be followed –  
At times, you may find yourself saying no to the same question repeatedly.
The danger of this scenario is that it could hurt your professional reputation by making it look like you are not a team player.
If this is happening to you, create a policy that places this type of request at the bottom of the list.
This approach allows you to deflect the blame from yourself to the policy.
This technique sends people with redundant requests away disappointed but not mad at you.
13. Say a No by using leading questions-
Leading questions point in a specified direction. In effect, you are telling them TO DO something.
But, because it’s in the form of a question, it feels much softer and helpful. It avoids confrontations.
These examples can be modified based on your job type and the likely requests:
* Did you know that this information is available online on the website?
* Did you know that the website does a great job describing the needed steps?
* Have you scrolled our WA chat and found the link that was sent yesterday?
* Did you have the chance to read the minutes that was circulated where all the details are mentioned?
14. Say yes but with conditions-
This technique is best when you are willing to help but want either assistance or something specific in return.
In this case, the replies may be…
* Yes, but to make that work, I will need….
* Yes, but I will need help from Mary on….
* Yes, if you are willing to providing the following….
* Yes, if I can delay another required task such as….
* Yes, if I can…(get something of value out of it).

 

In my career as a coach each one of these approaches has rescued me at different times from many tight situations.

 

I have made mistakes too and paid a price because my ‘NO’ came across as insensitive.

 

Don’t underestimate the importance of saying ‘NO’ in a non-offensive and constructive way.

 

Your relationships are not just defined by your character and contributions.

 

It’s also based on how others feel when they interact with you.

 

With love, prayers, and exceptional wishes,

naren

Change your thoughts. Change your life.

 

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