Author: Ashley Vukovich
When it comes to saying no in a workplace environment, it doesn’t always come naturally, but sometimes it is just necessary. Whether you have too much on your plate at the moment with your own responsibilities, deadlines, goals, etc, or if you are simply just not interested in taking on another project, you are entitled to make your own decision, even if it is not in favor of your colleague. The big question is: how can we respectfully decline without receiving labels like “difficult to work with”?
Below are a couple of easy ways to help break the ice on declining an opportunity.
Assess first, decline later
Before you jump the gun on telling a colleague you don’t want to work with them on something. Be sure to assess what you have going on with yourself first and figure out if it’s feasible. If there’s just too much on your plate, or even if the opportunity isn’t engaging enough for you to dedicate extra time, saying no is the appropriate response
It’s important to refrain from derogatory language when declining something from a colleague. To make sure you maintain a respectable relationship with said colleague, be sure to offer empathy in your declination. Acknowledge other ways you may be able to be a helping hand that doesn't require so much extra devotion on your end.