How to Say No Quickly and Effectively
By Kara Cutruzzula
Click to Answer
The sweetest — though perhaps not the kindest — word in the English language is also a simple one: No.
“No” will fix your procrastination problems (because rarely do you procrastinate on things that make you scream “Yes!”). “No” will also magically create hours in your day.
“No” is freedom. But it’s also incredibly difficult in practice. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. You want to feel like you’re delivering for your team.
Does that mean you should avoid saying it? Well, no.
Here’s how to refuse the right way.
Do it fast.
It’s much more awkward to say no if you’re being hounded. Go with your initial instinct and say “no thanks” right away.
Offering excuses for your “no” is like showing up late to a meeting and launching into a 10-minute monologue about terrible traffic. No one cares about your reason and they’ll appreciate you skipping straight to the point.
Leave a window open.
If the opportunity is something you want to consider in the future, mention that you’d like to work together and give a timeline for the person to follow up. That way you’re not shutting them out completely, but you’re cutting off the conversation before it goes on too long.
photo: sadeurga / Getty Images