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How to Say “No” at Work Without Making Enemies – HBR

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Are you comfortable when saying no to some people or situation in order to stay align with yourself while maintaining a win-win relation with your contacts?

Discover some tips proposed by Joseph Grenny – Harvard Business Review:

  • Show your work. Don’t simply say “no.” Share your logic. Share your facts. Share the reasoning behind your decision. And most important, share the values that motivate your conclusion.
  • Acknowledge value trade-offs. Let others know you sympathize with the values your position compromises. Decisions are rarely as simple as black and white, right and wrong. They typically involve value trade-offs. Be sure to honor the worthy values that may motivate others’ positions.
  • Be tentatively confident. It’s important to take a firm stand, but not an overstated one. You alienate more than you convince when you make absolute statements like “The only reasonable conclusion we can draw is…” or “The right answer is…” Show that you’re a thoughtful person who has arrived at a conclusion.
  • Ask for permission to say no. When saying no to a person in a position of authority, particularly someone who might misinterpret your denial as disrespect, it can be helpful to ask permission to say no. This allows you to honor their authority while maintaining your integrity.

“You define the contours of your character and the shape of your life by what you say “no” to. For example, saying no to invitations is the way you safeguard the attention you need to say yes to what matters most. Saying no to demands that compromise your values is how you secure your hold on those values. Articulating your reservations about a proposal is the work of acquainting yourself with your own thoughts. Expressing disagreement with an exuberant crowd is the very sacrament of personal integrity.”

Source : How to Say “No” at Work Without Making Enemies

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