Many of us find it difficult to say no at the workplace. When co-workers and colleagues come asking for help, it is tough saying no even though you're loaded with work yourself. There have been several articles written on how to say no without giving the impression of not being a team player. However, sometimes it is important to gauge the situation before saying no right away. But that doesn't mean that you give your time of the day to anybody who comes asking for help for even the most superficial tasks. Start by identifying when it is okay to give your consent to help and when you should refuse.
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Here are some things to consider before saying no right away:
The opportunity to help
When someone asks you for your assistance, think if you really want to let go of the opportunity to help. Helping someone might also give you the chance to learn something new in the process. In such a situation, buy some time to ponder over the pros and cons of turning the person away. You might also owe the person asking for help a favour, and this might be your chance to repay them. Only when you've thought through thoroughly and decided against helping, convey your answer kindly while explaining why you won't be able to lend the help that is needed.
Showing that you care
If you are prone to feelings of guilt when you turn away a colleague who is asking for help, make sure to hear them out before you say no. When you give someone an opportunity to elaborate on their concern, you give them an impression that you care about their plight. If you don't have the resources to help even after you've heard their request in detail, you'll at least be able to assuage your feelings of guilt by justifying that you heard them out.
An opportunity to forge a relationship
If you have the time and resources to offer your assistance to someone who has sought your help, don't say no to their request right away. Today they are in need of help, tomorrow you might be. If you can squeeze out a few hours to lend a helping hand to a co-worker, don't refuse to provide them aid. This will help you to forge strong relationships within your workplace and you'll unknowingly make a friend. But that doesn't mean you stretch yourself thin. If there is absolutely no way to lend your assistance, it is best to say no.
There will be times when you will have to say no. When you find yourself in the midst of such dire situations, positively communicate instead of issuing a one-word answer. For example, if your client requests you for add-ons to your service, instead of saying no, say – ‘We would be pleased to provide you this facility in addition to two other benefits once you have the Platinum card.’ When you positively communicate instead of saying no straight away, you are more likely to retain the client.
Saying no straight away is always tempting, but stalling and considering your options is definitely the wiser thing to do. Keep the above mentioned tactics in mind to help you skirt the need to say no right away.