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5 Best Polite Methods To Say “No”


Sometimes there is a need to say “no”, but to say it categorically isn’t the best way out if you want to keep good relationships with that person. So let’s learn about 5 best polite methods to reject.

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Method 1 – Use autoreply in the electronic mail and your phone

1To get an autoreply when a person is in business trip, on vacation, or is just absent or very busy is a natural thing. This is the most socially-accepted “No” of all possible ones as you are not saying you don’t want to answer a mail or a call. You are just letting people understand that during a definite period of time you will have objective reasons to not respond to their requests.




Method 2 – “Let me first check my agenda”

2If you don’t say “no”, your time will be taken by different people. At work and with business the phrase “Let me check my agenda first” will be of great use. It gives you the time to think and in conclusion answer that it won’t work out. Such an answer gives an opportunity to get control over your own decisions back instead of accepting any kind of requests all the time.


Method 3 – Soft “No, but”

3Your colleague is asking you out for coffee, but you have got too much of work to do? An example of the perfect response is “Right now I am up to the eye in working under the project. But I would gladly join you when I am finally done with it. I will let you know as soon as I am free”.




Method 4 – “Could you, please, help me to prioritize my working tasks?”

4To say “no” to your superior seems unreal and even funny to most of the employees. One of the best methods is to remind your boss what important tasks you will have to neglect in case if you accept their request. In such case the responsibility will fully lay on their shoulders. In such a way, the task can be delegated to another employee or your current responsibilities will be replaced by this more important one. In any way, you should agree the plan of your further actions, stop being nervous and tearing yourself apart from numerous tasks.


Method 5 – Partial refusal

If you are able to execute only a part of the task, a diplomatic partial refusal may sound like,



51) “Please, use X as I am ready to do Y” – this is a perfect method to answer for the request you can execute only partially, not spending all of your forces for it.

2) “I cannot do it, but X will probably get interested” – if the request is about helping to do something and it doesn’t matter who will be actually doing it, then this kind of response suits best of all.

3) “May I offer you another idea?” – working phrase expressing your disagreement not with a person, but with a situation. By the way, is a good method to lightly disagree with your boss.



However, you shouldn’t refuse all the requests one by one, even if they might not be among your direct working responsibilities. Don’t get stubborn if the success of your company depends on your decision whether to help or not. If similar requests come to you not often, then it’s okay to accept them and help your colleagues. To say “No” is not just a skill, but a competency that one should learn to develop and know when is the right time to use.

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Read also:

7 Reasons Why You Won’t Ever Do Anything Cool



5 Myths About Leadership

5 Emotions That Restrain You From Success

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