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How to say NO to your boss

bad-tempered caucasian business executive yelling at two asian subordinates in office.

I can bet, on several occasions, you have been asked to do something at work you were not that eager to do, either because you disagreed or just because you did not like the task. However, because of fear or insecurity, you do not say no. And not because you do not dare to do it, but because you do not know how to say it.

In most situations, bosses are not the ones claiming for things to be done. Workers tend to ask their bosses to clearly state what they want, and what they expect, in order to fully fulfil their requirements. On one hand, bosses want their employees to be clear and organized when performing tasks, recognize their mistakes and fulfill their commitments. On the other hand, workers want more than anything to satisfy their bosses, even if that implies doing something they dislike.

When these aspects are not met by both sides conflicts arise, making it more complicated to carry a clear line of communication. In general, bosses have the last word, but workers also have the option to propose alternatives.

Sara Lopez, teach coach in Trendhim, a Danish fashion company of men’s jewelry and accessories, such as lapel pins or bracelets, shares with us some valid arguments that you can use when you do not know how to say no to your boss:

Do not be impulsive

If you are given a task and your temper is irrational, keep calm and before exploding. Take a deep breath and calm down. Perhaps the task is not that demanding, and you are making a situation out of something that is not worth it.

What you can see as a problem, might be a benefit for your future. The best option is to study the details of the task, the effort it implies. Once this is done, take time to think about its benefits before refusing to refuse it.

Choose the right moment

Now that you have studied the pros and the cons of that specific task, and you still want to refuse it,  either because you do not like it or because it does not correspond with the abilities for which you were hired, talk to your boss during a schedule where he is not busy or performing other activities. The best option is in the morning when work begins or before lunch.

Take into account that it is not about giving a complete NO. Honestly you should make clear that you are not qualified to carry out the request, but you are willing to observe how another person performs it and maybe on other occasions you can do it.

Study the alternatives

When you are asked to make or participate in new projects is because someone believes in you. Someone has chosen you among other people to be part of a project, because you have the right skills. So even if you do not like it, or even if it seems hard, once more, think about its benefits. How can the project benefic your future? What can you learn from it? What can you do instead? Do you have other options? Whatever your decision is, do not provide negative arguments. Better propose other strategies that can facilitate your work.

Provide Valid Arguments

When you are willing to say no to your boss, study of your position in the first place, before taking risks. The secret to not having a confrontation with your boss is be assertive and not negative.

Now that you know how to say no to your boss, use these arguments as long as you have no other alternatives. But remember, it is not about complaining and denying, because after all you have been hired to perform functions which cover your professional profile.

Even if you put these arguments into account your boss does not change? Then it’s time to change your workspace. Nothing is going to change if you do not do something about it.

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