Sometimes we find it difficult to know when it’s in our best interest to say no. We know setting boundaries is important, but the line can be blurry. Here are some examples culled from my experience and that of other women on when saying yes is appropriate and when it is best to say no. You could probably write your own list as well.
Say “yes” when:
- It is an emergency and no one else is left at work to help out.
- Taking the assignment will give you heightened visibility with top management.
- You’ve said “no” several times recently, and you don’t want to lose an office ally.
- What’s being asked doesn’t require much of your time.
Say “no” when:
- You are overworked and one more commitment will totally overwhelm you.
- You’ve moved on to another job and a co-worker from your former assignment is constantly asking for advice in the form of evening e-mails.
- You’re not that fond of the person asking for help, and you don’t want to go out of your way for him.
- You’ve been working late every night for a week and a half, and your family needs some quality time with you.
Adapted from The Confidence Myth: Why women undervalue their skills and how to get over it by Helene Lerner