Master The Art of Saying No: 10 Effective Ways to Say No


Women are famous for loading up our workload, especially in the beginning of the year when we see an endless stream of possibilities in front of us, and want to start off the new year coming from a place of yes. The reason why we end up taking on so much if often because we don’t know how to say no.

It’s time to take control back, and learn how to say no without the guilt.

People understand when you get busy; people know that at some point your plate gets full. If you’re able to say no and you do say no, now they know that they need to help you to take some things off your list. You don’t speak up; they’ll just keep adding and adding and adding.

Next time when you’re asked to do something that takes up too much of your time, try one of these effective ways of saying no:

  1. Share your real reason for saying no.
    It might sound something like this: “There is something too much on my list right now, I can see I will not be able to do all this effectively. I need to take something off my list and say no to some opportunities.”
  2.  Refer the opportunity that you don’t want to someone else.
    Pick something on your list and simply find the right person to do that thing for you. It might sound something like this: “I know you’ve been looking for an opportunity, and I have a new project on my list that I would love the opportunity to show it to you to see what you can do with it. I am happy to support you in anyway.”
  3. Only offer what you can manage.
    Try: “I understand you want me to take on the new committee. Thank you for the opportunity. I won’t be able to take on the whole committee, but here’s what I can do.”
  4.  Postpone it for another time.
    “I can see that we have a deadline of next week for the project that needs to be finished. That’s not going to be possible. I do have time opening up at the end of the month. Let’s reschedule it for then.”
  5.  Change your mind.
    “You know, I thought I was going to be able to do this thing for you, and I want to be able to do it, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to change my mind.”
  6. You can gracefully decline.
    “Thank you for the opportunity. I would love to be able to help you. I am afraid I am going to have to decline.”
  7. Announce your decision before it even comes up.
    “I’ve decided for the time being I’m going to focus on the client I have right now and not take on anything new.”
  8.  You could set a limit and stick to it.
    “I’ve found that what works for me to best serve my clients is to have no more than 10 clients at a time. That’s how many I can gracefully handle and make sure that I attend to to the best of my ability.”
  9. Remember, no is a complete sentence.
    Try this – the next time someone asks you to do something that you can’t, and you don’t want to do, simply say “no.”
  10. Simply press delete.
    Just because someone may have requested you doesn’t mean that you have to respond.

Only you know how big your list can get before you can’t handle any more tasks. You can use these 10 suggestions to take some things of that list, and get a little bit of sanity back in your life.

For more ways to take charge of your success and career, see Joelle’s book: The Inner Edge.

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