Infographic: 5 Ways To Say ‘No’ At Work

Nov 23, 2017 1 Min Read

Whatever your talent, there is no substitute for knuckling down if you want to build a great career. But we all have limits, and taking on too much work can reduce the quality of what we do.

Hence, there are times when you just need to decline. No, you’re too busy, no you’re not interested, or no, you don’t want to pull an all-nighter because you have to take care of your unwell child.

This might interest you: Is Your Worst Habit The Inability To Turn Down Any Request?

So how can you avoid being labeled “not a team player” or someone “difficult to work with”? How should you say ‘no’ when you are given a task too many?

Saying no to work

How do you say ‘No’ without feeling guilty?

There are plenty of perfectly good reasons (as opposed to mere ‘excuses’) to decline work. You may struggle to get it done on time if you already have a big workload. If you get a reputation as someone who can’t say no, you may end up given work that better fits the skill set of another colleague. For your productivity sake, and the business, learning to turn down work should be part of your personal development.

However tough it seems, there are good ways to do so. The next time you find yourself overburdened with work, talk with your team leader. You shouldn’t feel guilty (or made to feel guilty) if you’re working for the good of the team.

This infographic outlines the best ways to approach the conversation, when ‘no’ seems the hardest word to say.
Saying no at work

Here are Top 10 things not to say to your boss!

Comment or write to us at and share some of your personal experience in saying ‘no’ at work. What were some of the outcomes you see by doing that? For more Top 10 articles, click here. For more infographics, click here.

Infographic first appeared here.

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This article is published by the editors of with the consent of the guest author. 

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