Time Management - 6 Tips: Work more efficiently with a friendly "No!"


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Always saying "yes" when friends, colleagues or bosses ask for something is the easiest way - but one who takes revenge over time. A friendly "No" helps with one or the other request - and all those involved.

Time Management - 6 Tips: Work more efficiently through a friendly


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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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The fear of the clear "No"

Many people avoid a clear "no" like the devil does the holy water. The reason: It almost always has consequences to deny other people a wish or a request. The other one could get angry. Or be hurt. And it can be particularly uncomfortable, especially in everyday working life, when you offend colleagues or even bosses. What to do if the office neighbors ask again: "Lord ..., could you please do me this little favor?" Or the boss orders: "Mrs. ..., could you do that and that for me?"

Logically, if you simply do what the other person wants, you have no problems at first: you avoid conflicts, the relieved ones are happy, and you even receive recognition and praise for your efforts. The problem is: not saying "no" also has negative consequences, because you can not just "not behave". However, Ja-Sagers do not even realize that.

Whoever does it all, forgets his own goals

The main problem: Whoever tries to make others right soon loses sight of his own goals. If you take this task off of colleague X and colleague Y's, you will soon have no time to complete your own tasks. They may become unproductive, under pressure of time and stress, and may even become aggressive.

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And worse, you run the risk of being exploited quickly. The others do not even mean that: they just get used to saying "yes," and start relying on you to do it. It becomes all the more problematic if you can not accomplish the promised task - then you quickly lose prestige and respect.

Acquire respect and competence

This is also scientifically proven: A study by the RespectResearchGroup (RSG) at the University of Hamburg shows: People simply have certain ideas about how competent and respectable people should be:

Among other things trustworthy, reliable and fair. Who makes promises that he can not keep, puts his reputation on the line. Therefore you should not drive a cuddle course towards colleagues and bosses. Much more can a clear, for the other comprehensible "no" increase your appreciation. But always make it clear that you do not simply refuse a request arbitrarily, but have good reasons for your "no", and thus act responsibly.

Honest and friendly cancel

In practice, this means taking the other seriously, getting involved in your situation, and communicating why you need to reject a request. Better honestly admit that you can not help, and do not talk about it - it is this consistency that the other will understand and respect. But: Other people also always want to feel that they are working hard. So the sound makes the music - the art is simply to say "no!" In a friendly way. This is especially true when dealing with bosses.

For example, if you feel overwhelmed by the demands of your supervisor, you will not be thrilled if you despair ("I just can not do all the work anymore") or aggressively complain ("you always with your claims"). Maybe you took a short breath, but you did not achieve much. On the contrary, if you're unlucky, you'll soon be on the kill list.

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Friendly "No" say: 6 tips

Much better is the following procedure, because then - with a little luck - both sides are satisfied:

  1. Analyze the situation closely: what exactly bothers you, what is too much for you, what do you feel overwhelmed with? Why do not you manage to stay calm?
  2. Get ready for a strategy. Collect eg documents and arguments for your overload. For example, record minutely how busy your schedule is or pin down the negative consequences your revision could have on the company.
  3. Look for similarities with the boss's point of view, not differences. Work out the aspects in which you work with yours Chef find room for improvement and focus on your reasoning.
  4. If necessary, practice your reasoning at home so that it is no longer difficult for you to reject your boss's suggestion.
  5. Before you talk to your boss: Make sure you have a positive mood. As soon as you are agitated or aggressive inside, there is a risk of overburdening the boss with unobjectionable charges.
  6. Be constructive in your conversation with the boss: show what you can do on your own, make suggestions for improvement, and use your statistics to show why this is necessary. Choose a positive vocabulary, eg optimization or effective planning.


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