Sometimes, it is hard to say no. There may be external pressures, you see saying no as failure, you fear the consequences of saying no or you want to please. However, saying no can be a productive and positive thing to do, both for you and your team. Its power lies in setting boundaries, realistically assessing situations, making sure you can deliver and in honoring the need for balance.
Here are some things to consider when you are deciding whether to say no.
• Who is asking and what does their involvement mean to your team?
• How important is the request to your and your team’s performance?
• Are there higher priorities that take precedence over this request?
• Are you and/or your team at your max or close to burnout?
• Is this something that needs to get done and that you and your team want to go all out for?
• Is this something that will bring rewards that you and your team feel are worth the push?
• Is the urgency of this request caused by your actions or actions of others?
• What are the consequences of saying no?
• Are there alternatives that will allow you to deliver, but with some changes to the request (e.g. a later deadline, more resources)?
• Does saying yes, dishonor you, your team, your values or your mission?
Saying no deserves your time and consideration. In times when whether you can deliver is uncertain, saying no can be a positive step for you and your team.