One of the most important things you can learn in life is that it’s ok to say “no.” This is especially true when it comes to our workplace. When asked to commit to a task at work, the thought of saying “no” can be quite daunting. However, if the option to say “no” is available — you need to honestly evaluate the task before you commit. When you begin to do this, you will find that in many instances turning down the opportunity is the BEST answer for everyone. Here are three reasons why…

  • when you say “no”, you’re allowing someone else the opportunity to shine. A good rule of thumb when asked to commit to a task is to ask yourself, “Am I the best person for this job?” The answer to this question may vary from day to day depending on your expertise and the workload that takes priority at the time of the request. If you find that you do not have the time or expertise to fully commit, respond with a “thank you for thinking of me” and respectfully decline the opportunity. If you know of a coworker that is the perfect fit for the project, it may be beneficial to suggest that this person be contacted for the task.


  • saying “no” allows you to maintain focus and a healthy lifestyle. When you are tired, stressed out, and overwhelmed with your workload, make sure you don’t take on another task! It’s important to step back and take a realistic look at your current workload before you commit to anything. Playing it smart and saying “no” will keep you sane and stress free – which in the long run is good for everyone!


  • saying “no” relays confidence, integrity and respect for others. By being honest when you can’t give it your all, or there is a better person for the job – you will gain respect from your coworkers, friends and families. This approach positions you as trustworthy and assures everyone that your “yes” is an all-in commitment.

 Knowing why, when, and how to say “no” may be the most important personal and professional skill that a person can perfect. The freedom to say “no” is life changing and is critical to your quality of life at work and at home.