The Daily Challenge: Have A “No Strategy”


Saying "no" can sometimes be a challenge - it helps to have a strategy.


How to Say "No".

Time to Read 3 mins

We are often encouraged to be “yes” -people. Saying yes is often a way to show that you are a team player and that you are ambitious. It's also a way of experiencing new things and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.

But, when you’re schedule gets tight you need to set boundaries.

Saying no can sometimes feel like a challenge. You may really want to say yes to something interesting or fun, but shouldn't because you lack time, you may be fearful of the consequences of saying no and thus feel obliged to say yes.Whatever the motivation behind saying no is, it can be helpful to have a “no strategy".

Planning how to say no, can help you feel self-assured and stay focused in the moment, not give way for self doubt, feelings of pressure or desire to please. 

Follow the steps below to consider how you can formulate a "no strategy" for an occasion that calls for it.

Step 1: Consider your priorities. What is most important for you to focus on? Will saying yes take away from your ability to focus on your priorities?

Step 2: Consider why you want to say yes. Do you feel obliged to say yes or are you experiencing FOMO (fear of missing out)? Do you fear the consequences of saying no? If so, are your concerns valid?

Step 3: Create a strategy. To make saying no easier create a strategy in advance. Plan what you will say, you can even script it out. Consider creating an email template. Be transparent and clear about your reasons to say no. Communicate clearly, firmly and politely why you are saying no. Prepare for counter arguments and practice what you should say to get buy-in.

Pro Tip 1: If you feel yourself wavering on your resolution to say no, ask for extra time to make your decision. Extra time will give you a moment to consider why you are hesitating and to consider what you want to do.

Pro Tip 2: Consider the possibility of modifying your no to a "yes, but..."

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