We all know we have way too much work to do. However, saying no to that work isn't as easy as it sounds.
Saying no doesn't always involve the word no
There are many things we need to say no to and various ways we could communicate our no. These are all ways you may need to say no more often:
Here's why we struggle to say no
What gets in the way of this is not that we know we want to and probably should say no. Rather, it's our pesky thoughts that get in the way. Those thoughts keep us trapped in the pleasing, perfecting, performing and proving cycles.
How to get better at saying noTo get better at saying no to too much work, we need to uncover what thoughts are getting in the way. To do that, let's go through the Inner Guidance Cycle.
Take a few minutes to pause. Slow down so you can do some self-reflection.
In the Pondering step, we look at:
This moment of self-reflection allows our underlying beliefs, assumptions and values to become more evident. That gives us insight into what might be getting in the way of us saying no. Armed with the new understanding, we can pivot our perspective, create new beliefs, and honour our values more clearly.
The last step of The Inner Guidance Cycle takes us out of pausing and self-reflecting and puts us back into action. It's time to communicate our no!
To get a deeper understanding of The Inner Guidance Cycle, check out these free resources. Then grab Mastering Confidence: Discover your leadership potential by awakening your inner guidance system to go into a deeper dive of The Inner Guidance Cycle to boost your confidence.
I took Faith through The Inner Guidance Cycle
I talked to Faith the other day. She was frustrated because her staff passed over things for her to review. Reviewing is Faith's job. Doing it for them is not.
Because Faith wants everyone to like her, wants to ensure her program produces good quality work and is a bit of a perfectionist, she does do the work for her team rather than reviewing the document.
As Faith and I worked through The Inner Guidance Cycle, and she became aware of those thoughts and how they created that frustration. That new awareness helped her begin to shift her perspective.
Faith began realizing that, yes, it may take longer in the short term, to turn around and give feedback on what the employee needs to work on in the document; she was actually allowing them to grow. Faith realized that while the expectation was they pass it onto her for review, her team's unwritten rule has become just pass it on to Faith; she'll fix it up.
Without in mind, Faith could go back, proceed, and review documents without doing them. We spent the rest of our coaching session creating a framework for her to say no to doing the work and practicing how she'd communicate.
The Steps for Saying NO
If you want to get better at saying no to too much work, do this:
Step # 1 - Work through The Inner Guidance Cycle, discovering what underlying thoughts, beliefs, assumptions, and values might be getting in your way of communicating your No.
Step # 2: Prepare and practice communicating your No
Step # 3 - Confidently and bravely communicate your No
Learning the Framework for Saying No to Too Much Work!
If you're looking for a framework to help you state your no, mean it and stick to it, check out the new course mini-course in The Training Library: Saying No to Too Much Work!
This new course builds ideas from the Willpower Essentials course helping you to learn:
To access Saying No to Too Much Work, join The Training Library as a monthly member. As a member of The Training Library, you will receive fresh, relevant, and new content every month to keep you engaged, excited and expanding your leadership capacity.
My goal is to help you become a competent and confident leader who is also happy, content & balanced. Learn how here.
A final reminder:
Leadership isn't always easy. Sometimes we have to have the short-term pain of having the uncomfortable conversation of saying no for the long-term gain of an amazing team and feeling fulfilled on our leadership journey! You can do it! I'm cheering you on!
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.