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How do you say no to your boss without ending up in HR’s office? Obviously Nobody wants to say “no” to their boss, but sometimes it’s too much and you just have to say no. Yes, it’s because sometimes even they don’t realize that you have too much on your plate to take on more work—and in these instances, you need to put your foot down and say no. So how do you say no without offending your boss?

Image of a woman at work

Give Them a Valid Reason

You can’t just tell your boss that you don’t want to do something simply because you don’t feel like doing it, you have to have a legitimate reason. If your boss wants you to write a report but you already have a lot on your plate, politely explain to them that you are already swamped with a lot of work, and that you would not be able to finish the report on time due to the numerous tasks and urgent deadlines you already have. If the   If the new task is more important, they’ll most likely push the deadlines for the other assignments to ease your workload.

Find Someone Else to Do It

Telling your boss  that you have found another qualified employee. When approaching your boss with the news that you can’t help them at the moment, it will soften the blow to mention that you have found another qualified employee who has offered to help.

Don’t Make It Personal

Make sure that your reasons for not being able to do the work aren’t personal. Your reasons should be work-related, and you should avoid bringing any of your personal issues with your job  into your response. An example of what not to say: “I just really don’t feel like doing this report because it’s a minor task, and I could use my expertise for more important things and an assistant can do the report.”

Read The Mood

Don’t tell your boss that you’re too busy to do the work he gave you to do when he’s in a bad mood. If your boss is already noticeably annoyed, then your “No”might the thing that pushes him over the edge. Instead, just wait an hour or two for your boss to calm down before you state your reason. By that time, your boss will be more understanding of your predicament.


By: Dammy Eneli


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