Sometimes you just need to say “no” to people. Maybe it’s a friend asking for a favour, and you can’t commit. Maybe it’s your boss asking if you have time for another project, and you don’t. Whatever the scenario, here are a few polite ways to turn someone down.
Photo by sboneham.
Over at LinkedIn, Wharton professor Adam Grant runs down eight different strategies for politely saying no. Here are a few highlights:
The Deferral: “I’m swamped right now, but feel free to follow up”
The Referral: “I’m not qualified to do what you’re asking, but here’s something else”
The Introduction: “This isn’t in my wheelhouse, but I know someone who might be helpful”
Which strategy you choose depends on the situation, but each of these has something in common: you’re saying no, but you’re also offering a solution. It’s not a solution you can help with, but it offers some direction for the person asking. It also tells them you respect their needs; you just can’t offer immediate help.
Grant offers five more effective ways to politely decline favours, and you can check them out in the full article below.
8 Ways to Say No Without Hurting Your Image [LinkedIn]