The art of 'Yes If' aka how to say No appropriately

Don’t trade being helpful for compromising your career

Taking on too much is counter-productive. FACT

When negotiating what you work on, you should prioritise the projects that you enjoy, play to your strengths, and showcase your value and potential

We often feel obliged to take on ‘non-promotional’ tasks to look willing or avoid offending someone by saying no. The result is too much time spent on projects which distract and divert you from your goals

This is a question of you respecting your time and others respecting your boundaries. Becoming the dumping ground for work others don’t want to do themselves is not going to help you move forward, in fact it will do the exact opposite 

For starters.  If you get so bogged down in doing extra-curricular stuff you can’t perform the job, you are paid for and that won’t advance you. 

You’ll also acquire a reputation for ‘doing’ rather than thinking whilst also leaving insufficient time to demonstrate your other strengths and potential, build your networks and become more visible. 

And finally it’s the road to stress and burnout

You might think you’re doing everyone a favour and becoming indispensable into the bargain but actually it’s Lose Lose for your career progression 

But what if you’re offered a new project, assignment, that might present an opportunity but it’s going to impact your time management?

You still need to maintain your boundaries so learn to master the art of the “Yes, if…” as a negotiation tactic

✅  Yes, if I can get help with this other pressing priority

✅  Yes, if I can let go of this other project

✅  Yes, if I can be the one to present our findings to senior leadership

✅  Yes, if I am credited with the outcome 

✅  Yes, if I can drop my current position and focus on this new role

The use of “Yes, if” counter-offer ensures you don’t cause offence by refusing and ensures you accept the project on your terms, certain that is is going to add value to your Personal Brand and career progression 

Plus if these criteria can’t be met then it becomes the problem of the person doing the asking, not you….

“Mel couldn’t take it on as I was unable to de-prioritise her other work” is much more positive than “Mel said no, she can’t do it” 



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