I confess: I find it really hard to say ‘no’.
This could be because I am a novelty-seeker, a trait that has served me well on some occasions but, on others, it has led to unnecessary stress and impacted negatively on my ability to deliver on what really matters.
It could also be because I am generally an agreeable person, who tries to help out and does not like to let others down. For instance, two days ago I received this e-mail inviting me to join an advisory group. This is a role that sounds really boring and time consuming, has very few upsides and a lot of downsides. I really do not want to say ‘yes’. Yet, I haven’t yet managed to hit the reply button and say ‘no’, because I think that this person will struggle to find someone who wants to do that job and I want to help her.
So, I was delighted to come across this list of 10 suggestions on how to say no in an assertive way, taken from the book “The Black Academic’s Guide to Winning Tenure—Without Losing Your Soul”, written by Kerry Ann Rockquemore and Tracey Laszloffy. These are my favourites:
How do you say no?
UPDATE: I just replied to that e-mail. I said no 🙂