bbbcSometimes you have too much on your plate or you’re just not interested in taking on a project you’ve been asked to work on. You might not have a choice in the matter, but if you do, how do you turn down the opportunity in a way that won’t label you as “not a team player”? First, assess the request. Determine how interesting a new project is, and whether it’s actually feasible for you to help. Think about whether priorities can be shuffled, or whether a colleague could step in to assist you on other projects. If you realise you have neither the desire nor the bandwidth to help, be honest and upfront about your reasons. Say something like, “I wouldn’t be able to do a good  job on your project and my other work would suffer.” Ask whether there are small ways you can be helpful, but don’t leave your counterpart with false hope that your no could eventually turn into a yes. Finally, practice saying no out loud — eventually it will become easier.

Adapted from “How to Say No to Taking on More Work,” by Rebecca Knight

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