Boss Lady

Learn how to decline or how to say no


There is power to learn how to decline or to say no, and there is skill in learning how to say no or decline something.

Learn how to decline or saying The word ‘no’ is one of the most feared in the English language. And the fear is not much of hearing the word, but of saying it. Women particularly find it hard to say no in the workplace, and largely this is because workplace training rarely includes the art of  [tweet_quote hashtags=”#sayingno” ]saying ‘no’ the right way[/tweet_quote]. The truth about saying ‘no’ is that the higher you get in business, the more often you’ll have to say it.  Here are my guidelines to learn how to say no in a firm, but non-aggressive manner:

Take out the sting.  There are many ways of saying ‘No’ without actually using the two letter word.  A “not at this point”, or “let’s revisit this in the future” are less abrupt options.

Say No first.  You’ve been asked to attend a meeting for a client you’re not completely sure about.  Rather than saying ‘yes’ and cancelling, learn to say ‘no’ with the possibility of retracting it later.

Don’t feel guilty.  Do you think Richard Branson has a moment to reflect on the hundreds of no’s he gives every day?  This is business – it is a Yes and No game. Here are tips to help you with guilt issues.

Back yourself.  Requests can range from semi-reasonable to outright ridiculous.  Remember that this person is asking something of you, and make your decision with confidence.

Be brief.  There is a fine line between being sensitive, and leaving yourself wide open for debate.  Thank them for the request, but keep the reasoning behind your choice very limited.

Reject the request, not the person.  Be appreciative that they want to do business with you and make it clear that it’s the idea that won’t work.  Don’t close any doors by causing offence.

Ignore FOMO.  That is, Fear Of Missing Out.  We are inclined, especially in the early days, to say yes to everything.  For every ‘no’ there are a thousand ‘yes’ situations.

Stand your ground.  At some point you’ll encounter someone who will be very headstrong, and try to poke holes in your refusal.  [tweet_quote hashtags=”#sayingno” ]Remember you’re better at saying no than they are at being pushy. Learn how to decline and say no. [/tweet_quote]

In business you need to make decisions in a split second, and communicate them in a way that is effective and reassuring to the other party. Learning to say no will change the way you do business.

About Amanda Rose

Founder of The Business Woman Media. Amanda Rose is also the only 'strategic connector', a brand strategist, keynote speaker and host of Amanda Rose TV. Connect with Amanda Rose on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or visit

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