Tips for you: How to Say No 😊

November 27, 2020

Hope you've been having a great week! As part of our helpful tips content, here's a good one based on my customer discovery interviews!

How to say no! Busy people in hybrid roles often get a lot asked of them. If you've experienced this, and need some help learning how to say no, here are some tips:

  1. Cushion it with kindness or a compliment. 😊

A favorite of grandmothers everywhere, this is the classic “I love you, but no.” The idea is to give the recipient a few words to feel good about despite the rejection, like so:

Example: This sounds like a great opportunity, but I have to pass. Thank you for considering me!

Example: Your proposal is intriguing and I’m glad you brought it up, but it’s not a good fit for us.

That last phrase borrows from a longtime contributor to the venerable New Yorker, John McPhee, whose turndown of choice was as mild as it is brief: “Not for us.”

2. Offer an alternative. 🙋🏻‍♀️

While your answer might be no, in the interest of courtesy, occasionally you’ll want to help out the recipient in some other way—by suggesting another time or a different option, perhaps.

Telling people no is an essential part of life. While you don’t always have to offer the recipient a Plan B or an explanation, it’s often worth taking the time to express yourself kindly.

3. Just say it. Say it out loud. "No." 😬

You got this! Keep up the good work!

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