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The best way to say “NO” at work

Tips do help you to say "No" without saying it

To say “No” properly is a key element, not just in life, but also in business relationships. It doesn’t mean to say yes, it’s always a matter of communicating your “no” in an effective and polite way and the most important giving no room for misunderstanding. Communication and soft skills in general were kind of forgotten abilities in the work environment until recent years, when companies started to realise how important they can be in all spheres of influence. Nowadays, enterprises of all industries, encourage and recognise the difference that those skills can make in their workforce and how can help them to achieve their goals.

Communication across organisations is essential for development and planning. When people are aligned and can communicate properly the distribution of information will help the strategy, it will motivate staff and even encourage socialising. Without an established line of communication, the company can suffer from misunderstandings and non-responsiveness that can penetrate every operational level, which can result in a slow movement to adapt to new realities. Invest in personal skills can help you in your professional daily basis activities and achieve your long-term goals.

Say “No” properly is just one of the examples on how you can train your ability to achieve better results and get what you or your team need.  For example, in the graph below you can see examples of how to say “No” without saying “No”.

Those examples above can be totally a game change for you, when you say a simple “no”, even though you know that “no” is the right thing to do, the effect on the person that you are dealing with can compromise your relationship and even future projects. So, is not just a question of being polite, but also to negotiate properly and save your battles for more difficult matters in the future.

Nowadays the business environment is highly competitive and to succeed sometimes you need to develop a political attitude, not in a negative way, but in a way that most of the time you will in a position where negotiation is critical and essential for your projects. In this context, saying a “No” without directly expressing it can bring you some extra points and help you to get what do you need.

How to develop your soft skills

As everything in life soft skills can also be developed through training and practise. At New Horizons Ireland we offer a wide range of Leadership and Professional courses tailored to help you in this journey. One of the paths is Communication and Interpersonal Skills, which were designed to help you improve your ability to communicate well and negotiate properly on your daily basis.

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As a trusted Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Education Partner, the Centre for Leadership and Development offer the best of Official SHRM Curriculum for the Human Resource professional, taught by certified expert instructors. Whether you are just getting started or a seasoned HR practitioner, these courses will empower you to help your organization excel.

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