The Power of Saying No (And How to Do It)

David Pereira
Dec 1, 2017 · 2 min read

In the world of business, we often hear the word “no” being said, yet we find ourselves later saying “yes” — even if we don’t want to. Saying “no” is a powerful tool used to set boundaries in the business world. This guide below will help you find a healthy balance between saying “yes” and “no”.

Often in business when we hear the word “no”, we easily become discouraged or frustrated simply because it’s not the answer we wanted to hear. On the contrary, saying “yes” is the root of burnouts, stress, and easily a load too big for one person to carry. A people pleaser is a person who has a difficult time saying “no” because they fear potential disappointment or because they don’t want to miss out on the opportunity. That’s where this critical fact comes into play: Within the business world there is a right way and a wrong way to say “no”.

Establish Authority, and Quickly

The first thing you want to do before saying “no” is determine and/or establish your authority. You are in charge of your schedule and you know what you are capable of handling. Once you’ve been able to pinpoint your authority, you’ll need to be quick. The longer an answer is debated, the more room there is for discussion. If you know your answer in the end will be “no”, then say it quickly and leave no room for alterations. This avoids debaters who will try to sway your answer to their favor. Saying “no” quickly and with authority eliminates the possibility of anyone taking advantage of you and your answer.

Know Your Limits

When debating whether or not to say “yes”, look at your schedule. While it’s perfectly acceptable to say “yes” to something you’re sure you can handle, ask yourself what’s on your to-do list and what you are able to fit in. The key to sticking to your schedule is this: you must understand that your time is valuable. In situations where your schedule isn’t flexible, don’t push yourself to fit in something that will only add to your plate. Understanding your limits and setting boundaries will be imperative to this process.

Prepare for Reactions

Tension easily rises when people are given an answer they don’t want to hear. When you say “no”, prepare for that person’s reactions. If you prepare yourself for a situation where someone is unhappy with your answer, you’ll have a better interaction. You want to make sure you are not hindering relationships whether that be in your personal life or in your career by saying “no”. While this is a strong tool, it’s important not to overuse this power.

Originally published at on December 1, 2017.

David Pereira

Written by

Proud husband, dad, friend, coach, and entrepreneur. Focusing on transportation & logistics. Founder @ Trinity Logistics USA Inc.