Joseph Grenny, coauthor of Crucial Conversation mentioned that ‘People have a hard time to say no… and when you introduce to power, it gets exponentially worse’. Let’s face it, saying no to the boss is sometimes a tricky business, but it is not always a war zone. You just have to know how to present to your boss.
It is noteworthy that some of these are not good enough as the reason for turned down your boss requests such as the job is too difficult, the work is not part of the job description, in the middle of planning something and cannot focus on the another task. Instead of declining your boss request and walk away, these what you can do in order to say no to your boss respectfully.
Preparation, preparation, preparation
Conversation with yourself
Examine what is the worst outcome that might happen if you declined your boss requests and write it down. Focusing on the points that related to the organisation and work as a whole instead of personally on you. For example, how its the requests of your boss may have the impact on your current workload and the company future. Also, analyse your current work situation as well such as whether the skills is matched, is there any other priorities that you need to fulfil, whether work delegation is possible, and
Understand his/her perspective
Before you approach your boss it’s important that you take the time to put yourself in her shoes and understand her and the company’s priorities. Understanding her motivations will help you better formulate your response. This is a good step for avoiding war zone with our boss. So prepare yourself to dig more and to imagine yourself if you are in bos’ position. By doing this, you empathise, more understanding, patience and think clearly than get emotional when you faced your boss. Also acknowledged and assured your boss that ultimately, both of you have the same and final goals.
Go ahead and express it
Find the convenient/right time for your boss
Timing is the essential part. Determine a convenient time will definitely help to set the whole positive atmosphere. You definitely don’t want to catch your boss at a stressed or busy moment. Find information about your boss’s working pattern and depending on the culture and practice in your workplace, it is advisable to ask few minutes to spare to your boss. If possible ask your boss to talk in private.
Consider how to say it
How and in what language you use, it matters. Get the right tone and language, in order to say ‘no’ without saying ‘no’. Put forward and suggest (better) alternatives for the advantage for the company. Sometimes it is not about the content, but how you say it makes the difference. It is highly advisable to use neutral language at all times and avoid personalizing situation. Personalizing the situation is making it about you or your boss. Be professional by always referring to the company’s goal and how to reach the best outcome for the business.
Keep it simple and concise
It is important that you get to the point quickly and don’t skirt around the issue. In addition to that make sure to convey it in a clear and concise manner, firmly and directly, but never in a confrontational or emotional way. Avoiding long explanation and introduction as your boss will think you are wasting her time and will lose sympathy for you. Respect your boss’s time as well, because he/she may not have the whole day for this. Also, explain your reason clearly and effectively as possible. Prepare a solid argument, if not your boss is not likely to understand why you can’t fulfill the task.
Ready? Good luck!