How to Say NO to Your Boss

A YES-employee is never good. If you are this kind of person, it is so difficult for you to say no to your superiors. You often get stuck with impossible tasks, more work, and fewer breaks. You even find yourself working during the weekends. How can you decline without losing your job?

Remember that good bosses admire and appreciate employees who can say no with confidence. They are willing to listen to good suggestions and find the right solution. You, as an employee, should just phrase and frame your words properly. Below are some of the ways you can say NO to your superior:

  • Time it correctly. It is better to say NO when your boss had just recently praised your performance. This provides more leeway for you.
  • Do not compete for power. Keep in mind that you are still a subordinate. You should not speak as if you are a partner in the company. It is not about who should be right, but what should be right. Say what you need to say but do it in a tone that does not make your boss feel disrespected. Consider your present work and your future in the company.
  • Remember that you and your boss have the same goals. In business, both the employee and the boss have the same goal—the company’s growth. Once you understand this, it is easier for you to share your views with your boss. Honor your boss’ idea then tell yours.
  • Learn how to empathize. If you take the time to understand where your boss stands, it is easier for your boss to be open to disagreement. Listen to the concerns and arguments of your superior before you start giving your own.
  • Share the facts that you know. Always take note that you and your boss have different views. Recognize the things that you know to be factual and tell your superior how your facts caused you to reach your conclusion. You can ask your boss how he or she came to his or her own conclusion. This way, you and your boss can discuss conclusions and not dwell on facts.
  • Set your boundaries from the beginning. Rules should be established early on during the discussion. Make it clear to your superior that you cannot be on call during holidays or weekends. This makes it clear for both of you.

Saying NO to your boss is not a bad thing. This just helps foster a good channel of communication between you and your superior if done properly. Say NO to your boss the right way so that you can look forward to a more comfortable working environment and more fruitful tasks.


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