How to say “NO” to your boss!

There are only so many things you can get done in a day! If you are feeling the pressure and are struggling to hit targets or meet deadlines could now be the time to speak out? Saying “NO” to your boss can feel intimidating and quite scary but if you do it the right way it could be the best thing you ever did!

Don’t be scared to ask questions about what you’ve been asked to do – what are their expectations & deadlines and realistically how long will you need to spend on this particular task? This way you will be able to determine whether you think it’s something you can achieve and will give you a chance to work out a draft plan of action. Let your boss know that you will think it through and see where it fits alongside your other priorities before you go straight back to them with an instant “no”.

Nip it in the bud as quickly as you can. If you get asked to do something, and you have concerns that you might not be able to complete it, highlight it as soon as you can. Don’t ignore it and dwell on it until it’s too late, have a word with your boss and highlight your concerns earlier rather than later.

Try to come up with an alternative solution rather than just creating a problem – can somebody else help you with it or can a project you’re already working on be put on hold for a while? Do you know any colleagues who might be interested in developing their career and taking this project on? It’s a great way to show you’re paying attention to other people’s professional development too.

Remain professional and choose your words carefully. You don’t want to come across as being unhelpful or unapproachable – try to remain positive throughout. Try to show you are a team player and are happy to help, but you don’t want your other priorities slipping. You don’t want your boss thinking you don’t care about your job.

But in the end, being honest about what you can and cannot accomplish is much better than setting yourself up for failure. Don’t be scared of saying no – just make sure you follow these steps to do it correctly. Be true to yourself and your boss will appreciate your honesty in the long run.

Do you need any more advice on how to handle yourself at work? Get in touch with our team – we will be happy to help. We are a specialist recruitment company based in Leeds and have been successfully working with businesses and employees for 25 years!