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What to say when …

by on
in Workplace Communication

Your boss asks you to take on yet another extra assignment that you just don’t have the time to do:

“In all the time I’ve worked here, I’ve always tried to be accommodating and say yes to everything that you’ve asked me to do. In fact, I pride myself on organizing my day so well that I can be more productive and take on more responsibilities than just about anyone else. At this point, however, I’m realizing that I can no longer blindly say yes to everything. I had what I thought was a full plate a few months ago, and now it’s really overflowing! What I can do is help devise an alternative way to handle this assignment, perhaps by offering it to someone else or by splitting it into two parts.”

Your employee insists that he can do your job better than you can:

 “I don’t doubt that you have the ability to do my job as well if not better than me. But that’s not the issue. We’re not in competition here. A more important challenge is to figure out how we can both make the kind of contributions that help boost each other’s standing, rather than undermine our progress.”

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