Saying YES / NO

Posted: July 31, 2006 in Thoughts

It’s been 2 years since I started working and I have learnt a lot of things. One important thing that I learnt was “to learn to say NO”.

I am sure everyone working in the software industry would have come across a situation were your seniors load you with work and still try to get more work done. You could be an excellent time manager and get what all needs to be done in time. But there is would be a certain point for everyone beyond which one cannot do any more tasks in parallel. That’s when one is in a fix. We would not want to take up more tasks as our responsibility and on the other side we would not want to say NO to our seniors.

On one hand you already have a load of responsibilities to complete. You try to concentrate on each of the task given to you and try to get multiple tasks done in parallel to save time. You have so much load on you that, sometimes you won’t be able to give 100% to one task and you tend to run into mistakes. On the other hand, we don’t want to look bad saying NO to any work assigned to us. Moreover the new work coming in may be really challenging and really fun to do. (At least that’s the impression you would be given most of the times). You will be drawn into saying YES to it though you know you can’t possibly take in anymore.

These are the times you should be good in your judgments. You must be able to assess the situation and if you feel you can’t push yourself more than what you are doing presently, there is no point accepting new things. I would rather say NO and may be look like a “bad person who said so” to a couple of people rather than accepting work and messing it totally ending up cutting a sorry figure to lots of people.

Through experience I am sure one would learn the different ways to say NO without landing up in trouble for saying so. I am sure everyone would agree that one cannot document ways to do this. “Situational Sensitivity” is what one would want at times like these.

According to me these would be the ground rules one could follow:

  • Know your capabilities
  • Be aware of what you presently have in hand
  • Assess the situation
  • Know about the person you are talking to


No one could be perfect; you always tend to improve by experience.

  1. noup says:

    As you say, it’s not always easy to know how to say “no”. I don’t know much of experience at work, but i know what it’s like to conciliate lots of different things at the same time.

    I would say that one should learn how to say “no” right from the beginning, so the “bosses” don’t get used to push you to the limits… which is their job sometimes. Just my 2 cent.

  2. humbug says:

    @noup: Totally agree to what you say 🙂

  3. EH says:

    Hi! Just crossed your blog. Good writtings 🙂 Learn to say ‘no’. Even I experienced. That too my boss gave me a card on my b’day saying “Learn to say no”.
    Anyways I have been in this industry for quite sometime now. Am now a BIIIIIIIIIIG Boss 🙂 Its def. not all bosses are bad. In my career I have worked with different kinds of bosses. As long as uyou speak truth, you can get to heights. Just be committed and dedicated to work.

    Btw. your blogging is good. I will keep visiting. More bloggings please….

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