Women in Industry: The power of saying no
Do you ever feel overworked and undervalued? Are you starting to feel like the only go-to person for menial tasks?
Did it ever occur to you to say no the next time someone asks you to perform a task that is not in your core duties?
What? Did those questions make you feel uncomfortable? Did you ever stop to think, why?
Let’s explore why we don’t feel right about saying no.
- We feel we won’t be perceived as a team player.
- We are people pleasers at heart.
- The more we do, the greater our chances that we’ll be recognized for that next big promotion.
- We don’t want to disappoint our supervisor or coworker.
A common misconception is that a person who always says yes will go farther and get there quicker. Our perception and expectations of how we are perceived often can land us in a position where we feel overwhelmed, overworked and overextended. This does not have to be the case.
As individuals, when it comes to our time, saying no is one of the most powerful things we can do. Saying no will lead us to be more balance in our lives, gain self-respect and gain the respect from others by creating these boundaries. This action alone will help you to add self-worth as well as adding value to your life through actions that mean more to you.
What would happen if we did just say no sometimes, because, let’s face it, sometimes you just say yes. The next time you’re not sure if this is a yes or no moment, ask yourself:
- Will this task expose me to new knowledge that can help me in my career?
- Would there be someone else in your organization where this task is a stepping stone in their career? Is this a moment where you can be a mentor?
- Or is this one of those times you should just “take one for the team?”
To be able to truthfully answer these questions you need to know where your priorities lie. Once you set your priorities, it will make your choices much easier to discern. In the long run, you must say no to things that are taking up your time without adding any value to your life or are keeping you from being truly efficient at your job.
Once you have determined this, you can move onto the next step — saying no! Saying no can be problematic. Here are a few suggestions to make it easier:
- Be quick. Tell the person you can’t do it and politely decline right away. That way you don’t hold up anyone else’s plans.
- Be honest. Explain that you have other commitments and can’t commit.
- Suggest an alternative. Name another person who might be able to take your place.
- By learning to say no, you will have the time and focus to create those initiatives that really have an impact on both your organization as well as the industry.
When you start saying no in the workplace, eventually it will translate into your personal life. When you don’t feel overextended, you will regain the confidence to control your life.
Imagine a weekend full of the things you live for!