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The Art of the Positive No: Navigating Extra Requests

Listeners will learn how to say 'no' in a positive way by setting boundaries and protecting their well-being. The podcast provides simple scripts for saying 'no' in emails, performance review discussions, and day-to-day conversations. Emphasis is placed on prioritizing quality over quantity and recognizing the strength in knowing one's limits.

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Helpful Reading

Helpful Reading

William Ury | The Power of a Positive No: Save The Deal Save The Relationship and Still Say No | This book provides a framework for asserting and defending your key interests without burning bridges.

Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend | Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life | This book delves into the concept of personal boundaries in various aspects of life, including work.

Julie de Azevedo Hanks | The Assertiveness Guide for Women: How to Communicate Your Needs, Set Healthy Boundaries, and Transform Your Relationships | Though targeted at women, this book offers valuable advice for anyone looking to communicate needs and set boundaries effectively.

Anne Katherine | Where to Draw the Line: How to Set Healthy Boundaries Every Day | This book provides strategies and real-life examples of setting boundaries in daily life, including in professional settings.

Robert Bolton & Dorothy Grover Bolton | People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others, and Resolve Conflicts | This book provides techniques on effective communication which include asserting oneself and saying "no" when needed.

Helpful Reading


Hello, and welcome back! I'm your friendly neighborhood OD consultant. Today, we're talking about a word that's small, but mighty – 'No.' More specifically, how to say 'no' in a positive way. So, let's dive in.

Like we discussed in a previous podcast, saying 'no' can be tough, especially when the request comes from a supervisor or a peer. But remember, saying 'no' isn't about being difficult. It's about setting boundaries and protecting your well-being. So, how can you do this in a positive way?

There are many ways to set boundaries with email, but I figured I'd share a simple script as an example of what you can use: 'Dear So and So, Thank you for thinking of me for this opportunity. However, due to my current workload, I'm unable to take this on at the moment. I appreciate your understanding.' Short, sweet, and respectful.

Alright, next, performance review discussions. Here's a script to navigate this tricky territory: 'I appreciate the opportunities I've been given, and I'm committed to delivering quality work. However, I've noticed that my workload has been impacting my well-being and my ability to perform at my best. Can we discuss how to balance my responsibilities more effectively?'

And finally, day-to-day conversations. Here's a script for these spontaneous requests: 'I appreciate your confidence in me. However, I'm currently focusing on [current task/project] and I want to ensure I deliver it well. Can we find someone else to help with this?'

Remember, folks, saying 'no' isn't a sign of weakness. It's a sign of strength. It shows that you know your limits, and you're willing to prioritize quality over quantity.

And that's all for today, folks! I hope these scripts help you navigate those extra requests and opportunities with grace and positivity. Until next time, remember: your time is valuable, and it's okay to protect it.

Signing off, your friendly neighborhood OD consultant. Remember, you've got this.

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