Page would like to be more assertive, yet professional, at work, but every time her boss approaches her to take on yet another assignment, she says “yes,” even though she knows she doesn’t have time for it.
We say “yes,” because “we have a real desire not to let down our bosses,” says negotiations coach Jim Camp. “People are afraid if they say they can’t do it, they look incompetent or incapable.”
Saying, simply, that you don’t have time to do a project may cast you as uncooperative. But it doesn’t help anyone if you say “yes” while knowing you can’t possibly complete all the work. You will have created the crisis by saying “yes.”
How can you set boundaries more assertively with your boss, without coming across as incapable or rude?
1. Say “thank you” for the opportunity to take on something new. Being asked shows that your boss believes in you, says Tres Roeder, author of A Sixth Sense of Project (register to read more), so acknowledg...