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Sep 20, 201812:26 PMLeader to Leader

with Terry Siebert

Saying ‘NO’ can make good sense for good sanity

(page 2 of 2)

On the other hand, if it is a request that is in your range of capabilities, there are several checkpoints to consider:

  • Do you honestly have the time and energy that would be required to do a worthwhile job? If yes, go ahead. If not, gently let the person know that there is no way you could do justice to the request. If the request is from your boss, you might ask what priority she places on the project to give you a better sense of what to work on first.
  • If you are in a leadership role and the request comes from one of your people, is it something that they could/should be doing themselves? It could represent a growth opportunity for them or just be part of their job. There are some people who have refined the concept of “reverse delegation” — that is, the art of giving their project back to their manager.
  • Is the request consistent with your priorities, not just your capabilities? If it is not, realize that you are being asked to divert from your primary responsibilities and focus.
  • Are you already behind on other projects? If that is the case, saying NO should be easier than ever.

By the way, when you do say NO, there is a Dale Carnegie way of doing it. Always remember that you are saying NO to the project, not the person.

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Known for his Dale Carnegie training expertise, Terry Siebert is writing to inspire leaders to reach their greatest potential. Leadership, today more than ever, may mean the difference between closing the doors or opening new markets. Every month, he'll post help with mindset, business tools and more.

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