Learn how to say NO | The Business Woman TV


The word NO is one of the most common and feared words in the English language.  What isn’t common is the knowledge on how to use it properly in business; saying ‘No’ the right way.

The truth about saying ‘No’ is that the higher you get in business, the more often you’ll have to use it.

Here are my guidelines on 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, 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.

Back yourself.  Requests can range from semi-reasonable to outright outlandish.  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.  As I often say “For every no, there is a yes around the corner”.

Stand your ground.  At some point you’ll encounter someone who will be very headstrong, and poke holes in your refusal.  Remember you’re better at saying No than they are at being pushy.

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.

About Amanda Rose

Founder and CEO 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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