If we are all honest, most of us have found ourselves saying yes to taking on extra tasks or organising something that throws our schedule out of balance in the workplace at some point in our careers, even when we really wanted to say no.
A survey conducted by Simply Hired reported that 26% of participants said yes to taking on more work when they didn’t have the time.
It’s human nature to want to say yes, and the inability to say no to requests in your personal and professional life can be a hard habit to break. We all want to people please and prove that we are team players, especially in an industry such as iGaming, where your technical expertise may be in high demand.
However, when saying yes comes at the expense of our productivity at work and impacts other areas of our lives, it’s essential to learn that saying no is acceptable and can help us achieve more.
This article will look at why we say yes so often, why you should consider saying no when a request is outside your remit or comfort zone, and some helpful advice on how to say no at work.
Why are we so quick to say yes?
We all want to make a good impression at work and please those around us, especially our superiors. Sometimes this leads us to agree to take on work outside our area of expertise to help out a colleague who may be struggling with their workload.
There are several reasons we feel the need to say yes, for example:
● You genuinely want to help out of kindness and empathy for your colleagues’ situation and believe refusing makes you appear selfish.
● Respect for your supervisors. When you are asked to take on additional responsibility by someone higher up the company hierarchy, you may feel you cannot say no.
● Fear of confrontation. We all do our bests to avoid conflict at work, and no one wants to be labelled as difficult.
Ultimately, no one wants to embarrass their colleagues by saying no or feel that they are letting anyone down. So we say yes without thinking through the consequences. After all, refusing responsibility doesn’t match our can-do attitude at work and may affect how others see us.
But, unfortunately, the reality of saying yes to everything that comes your way is that it will leave you feeling stressed and stretched.
It’s time to start saying no
For the average motivated team player, we know that saying no isn’t something that comes naturally. It’s a word that brings disappointment and doesn’t make us feel like a good colleagues.
But taking on too much and stretching yourself too far will leave you with projects that you can’t complete as well as you would if you didn’t take on the extra load, and you put yourself at greater risk of suffering from overload and burnout.
The hard truth is that saying no is vital to your professional success and the organisation’s success. Overloading yourself will lead to missed deadlines and work submitted that is substandard.
We know that saying no is easier to suggest than put into practice, so we recommend when you are presented with a request to take on more work that, you work through the following steps:
● Take a moment to assess the request. First, consider how exciting and relevant the assignment is. Then consider how feasible it is given your current priorities.
● Be honest. If you know you don’t have the time or inclination to give the assignment the time, being upfront is much better than letting your colleague down later.
● Offer a lifeline. For example, if taking on the task yourself would be too time-consuming, consider if there are any small ways you could help. Could you take the time to give your input in a brainstorming session? Could you suggest sharing the load with your colleague or act as a sounding board?
● If you are saying no because you are overloaded already, speak up and explain what you are working on. If the new project falls within your remit and is critical, maybe a colleague could take something else off your desk to give you the time required by the new project.
We are taught that saying yes will accelerate our careers, but the opposite could be true if we are not careful. It’s human nature to want to say yes, especially when a power dynamic is involved. Saying no won’t be easy, especially for the people-pleasers, but it could be one of the most valuable skills you can learn to manage your workload and time more effectively.
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