Note: This is a different take on a popular topic we published about 2 weeks ago, from another author. Hope you enjoy this one as well!
Depending on the person youre talking to, saying no to a manager or client can lead to a very nasty situation. Theyre sometimes hell-bent on bad ideas because theyre either misinformed or working off wrong assumptions. If you dont handle the situation properly, it might do more than just sour the working relationshipit may even cost you a performance review or even the project.
But does that mean you should turn into a yes man, just to keep the higher ups happy and your job secure? Absolutely not! If anything, letting them have their way all the time will result in a failed project and be even worse for your career.
Instead, try these useful tips for telling people no:
Build up Stock
The best way to protect against a bad client reaction is to get the client to trust you. When the client knows that you have their best interests at heart, theyre less likely to have a knee-jerk reaction when you tell them you have to axe one of their pet projects features.
Support your Arguments
You wouldnt tell your boss no without having a good reason, would you? You just need to communicate it properly and make sure they understand your point of view. If youre going to say it would never work, tell them why. Explain it logically and get them on your side, so that they can in turn argue on your behalf.
Screaming or throwing a tantrum doesnt help your argument at all (even though it would feel really, really good). The best way to get your point across is to be calm and diplomatic at all timeseven when someone is trying to steal your resources.
This is the most helpful way of denying a managers request, and probably the one that will get you the best response. It shows that your focus is on getting things done in the most effective way possible, and that youre not just saying no because youre hard-headed or selfish (even if you are).
The beauty of the tips Ive just listed is that you can use them on anyone, not just managers or clients. Pushy co-workers? Meddling rivals? Use the power of logic and diplomacy and protect yourselfand your teamfrom outside interference.
Image credit: Nathan Gibbs, Flickr