Regardless of whether you’ve been working for a small family business or for a large multinational corporation, saying no to your boss has never been an easy task. Your boss owns your professional time and while he or she might not literally own you, they still do have the power to promote or fire you. For that reason, it’s important that you understand how to say NO to your boss when necessary, the correct way. Checkout some of the scenarios that are given below where you can diplomatically disagree with your superior while still keeping your job and professional integrity in the long term.
Evaluate The Consequences
One of the first things you should do before saying no is to assess the consequences of doing so. Take into account whether your refusal could result in financial losses to the company.
Learn How To Clarify
This is extremely important. You should learn how to explain why you might have difficulties fulfilling the task that you are being asked to complete or why are you disagreeing with your superior in a clear and logical way.
Consider Their Point Of View
Remember to understand the issue in your boss’s point of view. Realise that your boss may also have a good reason to have that specific opinion or ask you for that specific task, which you should take into account before saying no.
Some bosses might like to surround themselves with yes men, but most do not. Chances are your boss wants you to have ideas of your own rather than agreeing on everything.
Have The Right Tone
It’s not what you say, but how you say that matter, especially when you’re refusing or disagreeing with your boss. Choose your words carefully to avoid misunderstandings.
Take your Time
The key to a perfect No is to take your time to construct the most logical defence. Tell your boss that you will get back to them regarding their request. But remember, don’t take too long.
Highlight Your Strengths And Weaknesses
Let your boss know where you are good at and where you need improvements. When your boss understands what you can do, they will not ask for miracles that you can’t handle.
Explain The Limits
There may be tasks that you’re uncomfortable in performing. Typically, these could be due to religious or personal reasons. Let your boss know such limitations, so they will avoid asking in the first place.
Your Hands Are Full
You might not want to offend your boss, yet you also can’t take additional tasks. Ask their direct guidance on handling multiple projects, which could indicate them that it’s too much for you.
Rather than saying no to your boss, you could try offering alternative options on how they could get their task done without your direct help.
No one likes dishonesty and neither will your boss. Be straightforward with them and tell the truth. When you have a healthy relationship with your superior, they will easily understand your concern.
Don’t Wait Till The Last Minute
If you are unable to finish a task or cannot take an additional task, then don’t procrastinate till the last moment. Tell your superior right away to have the issue solved.
Don’t Be Nervous
Your boss is not going to eat you alive for being truthful. You might feel anxious or embarrassed to reach out. But remember, being frank is better than being silent.
Highlight Your Priorities
The main tasks you perform at work are the most important. If your superior’s requests seriously interfere with them, then cautiously point it out for a better solution.