No. It’s a simple, small, two-letter word and yet so many people have trouble with it. One of the hardest places to say no and set healthy boundaries is the workplace. Some people fear saying no to their boss because that person is an authority figure. Others don’t want to say it to their coworkers for fear that they won’t be seen as a team player.
In a culture that glorifies busyness and hustle, it’s not uncommon to avoid declining a request, at all costs. A strategic, intentional no, however, can actually be one of the most effective tools to boost your well-being and performance at work. For this month’s edition of The Productivity Box series, we are making the case to normalize saying no.
Work situations can vary from professional to mouth-jarringly odd or unfair. You might experience challenging bosses, clients or co-workers. It is not always that people are difficult. Rather, we all get to be difficult every now and then. Maybe it is work pressure or not having a good work-life balance. Or perhaps it is the challenging nature of collaborative work.
In fact, expect to be eventually disappointed. People you respect will every now and then fail you. People that always deliver will someday under-deliver. After all, they’re only human. Yet, being put on the spot is nobody’s strong point. You’ll find it’s tough to be spontaneous with tricky work situations. Tricky work situations make a mess of your drive and motivation. They leave you under-performing or even looking for a different job.