Often, we accept ad-hoc responsibilities or extra work when it’s more prudent to say no. Our actions might stem from a misplaced sense of politeness or simply an inability to refuse a request.
In this lesson, we will focus on mastering the art of saying ‘No’ politely, though assertively.
This lesson is in a video format
We recognise that some participants prefer reading to listening. If you are one of them, then you can access a transcript of the lesson by clicking on the View Transcript button below the video.
Reema: She has her mobile phone cradled under his shoulder as he is typing on his laptop keyboard.
“Thanks for the wishes buddy. Pause… Smiles… Yes, yes, I won’t forget the party that you guys are throwing me. How could I? Yes, my friend, I remember that we are to meet at eight p.m. Pause… Ha, ha, ha… I will not be staying back late today. I will be leaving work in another ten minutes or so. I promise.” Pause… “Okay, thanks buddy. See you around’.
She puts his phone down on the table and continues working…
As Reema is about to leave…
Boss: “Hey Reema, the Director just called. He has asked for the deliverable to be sent across this evening, however late, instead of tomorrow afternoon, when it was originally scheduled for.
He says that the client has scheduled a nine a.m. telephone call with the customer and wants to see that all the subject matter for the discussion is ready this evening, including any changes that need to be made, before close of play today”.
Reema: You mean you want it worked upon right now?
Boss: “Yes, that is correct. The Director has asked for it”.
Reema: Arvind, I understand the criticality of this task, both for you, and for our Team. I understand that this is a deliverable that our Director has asked us to advance the date on.
However, today being my birthday, I have family and friends waiting for me at home. They have planned something for me, and as far as I know, a lot of this has been paid for, in advance. Hence I will not be able to wait back to handle the task.
This is what I could do, though. I will delay my leaving the office by around fifteen minutes. I could work with
Ajay, my colleague, in that time and direct him as to how he could handle the task by himself. I will teach him some shortcuts that I normally use, which will help him complete the task in less than the time that he otherwise would. I could also be available to him on my phone for any queries that he might have. So, may I request you to assign the task to him to complete?