Having a good equation with your boss can go a long way in furthering your career prospects. After all, your boss has the power to offer you a promotion or a salary increase. Currently, when most companies have shifted to the Work From Home (WFH) model, this relationship has assumed even greater significance. If you are willing to put in the hard work along with unwavering dedication and unyielding focus, then you can become an indispensable asset for your organization.
Though, having a good relationship with your boss can lead you to be overburdened with work. Why? Well, simply because you are worried about leaving a bad impression and hence end up taking up more work than you can manage. If this trend continues for long, it can lead to a reduction in your productivity and would rather hamper your equation with your boss than improve it.
Importance of Saying No
So, what is the way out here? It is quite simpler than you would think. You just got to master the art of saying no. Yes, being a diligent employee does not mean that you have to take on every project that your boss wishes you to handle. As a professional, you should understand the importance of workload management. We have already discussed the importance of saying no in our article on how to say no to take on more work. Do give it a read as well for some insights.
Saying No to Your Boss Politely
Whether it be over the phone, in a video chat, or through an email, it goes without saying that you must be polite while saying no to your boss. You must remember that, like you, your boss also has the best interests of the organization at heart. Contrary to popular belief, most bosses like employees who have the confidence to say no. The key here is framing the refusal politely so that it conveys sound reasoning as well as offers a solution. Here are some of the ways in which you can say no to your boss politely:
- When you are swamped with too much work
Mental and physical burnout has emerged as a serious issue during WFH as professionals are struggling to manage the extended work hours and increase in workload. If you are also facing such an issue, then here are some suggestions to help you frame your response to your boss:
- Example #1: Hi……., I would really like to thank you for considering my name for this important project. But as you know, I am already handling two other important projects for our US client; I will be unable to dedicate the desired efforts to this project. I would really appreciate it if you could assign this crucial task to someone else.
- Example #2: Hey……, I am not sure if I could be the team leader for this project as I am not comfortable with this subject area. I would like to suggest xxxx’s name as she has executed several similar projects successfully in the past. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused.
- Example #3: Dear…….., as you know that I am already engaged with several new projects, it would therefore not be ideal for me to take on more work at present. I really appreciate the fact that you believe me to be capable of handling such an important project, but I am compelled to decline this opportunity with all due respect. Once I have completed the ongoing projects, I would love to join the team for this project. Thank you for understanding.
- Example #4 (via email): Hi……, I hope you are doing well. I am writing this mail to request you to kindly reconsider the decision of allocating the new project for the UK client to me. I am compelled to withdraw my name from this project as at present all my attention is directed towards the ongoing project for the government. I sincerely regret any inconvenience caused.
- Example #5: Hey …….., i just wanted to inform you that I would have to excuse myself from the new project as at present I am handling two crucial projects for our new client from Canada. It would not be wise of me to take on more than what I can handle. So, please consider my request and grant me the permission to withdraw my name from the team for this project.
- When you have some personal issues to attend
During WFH, many professionals have struggled to manage their professional and personal issues simultaneously. If you are also struggling with some personal issues, then here are some suggestions to say no to your boss in a gentle manner:
- Example #1: Hi……., I would like to apologize for the inconvenience as, at present, I am going through some personal issues and would not be able to take on any additional work. Hence, I will really be grateful if you could reallocate this new project to someone else.
- Example #2: Hello……., I hope I am not bothering you. But there have been some serious family issues that have come up yesterday, and I need to address them urgently. It would be helpful if you could excuse me from this new project as I do not feel that I am in the right frame of mind to do complete justice to it at present.
- Example #3: Hey ………., I know this would cause great inconvenience to you, but I must request you to excuse me from this project due to some personal issues. I will certainly let you know when I am able to take up new projects.
- Example #4 (via email): Dear……., I hope this mail of mine finds you in the best of health. I wish to inform you that due to some personal issues, I request you to kindly excuse from the team for this new project. I will connect with you as soon as my personal situation improves. Hoping for a positive response from your side.
- Example #5: Hi……, as you must be aware that last week I suffered a great personal setback. As a result, I am not in the right frame of mind to presently take on more work. Hence, I would really appreciate it if you can excuse me from the new project for the time being.
- When you are not comfortable with a client
If, for any given reason, you are not comfortable working on a project for a specific client, it is important that you let your boss know. Following are some suggestions to help you with this,
- Example #1: Hi………, I just received your email regarding allocation of a new project for M/s…………… to me. I would request you to please re-assign this project to someone else as I am not comfortable working with the client due to the events that took place last year. I think …………will be better suited for this project as he shares a great rapport with the client. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused.
- Example #2: Hey…….., I think that there has been some oversight at your end as you just assigned me a new project for Mr……………. You know that he is not comfortable working with me, and we do not share a great relationship. I believe that for the happiness of the client, you can consider re-assigning this project. I do not feel I am the right choice for this project and would hence like to excuse myself from the same.
- Example #3: Dear………….., I would like to thank you for considering me suitable for handling this new project. But I will have to excuse myself from this project as I am currently working on a project for M/s………., who is a direct competitor for our new client. Hence, I would not be able to do complete justice to the task at hand. So, please allow me to withdraw my name from this project.
- Example #4 (via email): Hi……., I am really thankful that you have considered me as a suitable relationship manager for M/s………. But as you know that last time when I handled the project for the same client, the whole experience was not a pleasant one for me. So, for the sake of the client’s happiness, I will really appreciate it if you can assign this new project to …………, as he enjoys a great rapport with the client.
- Example #5: Dear………., I want to request you to please excuse me from the team handling the new project for our US clients. The client and myself have entirely different thought processes, which can act as an impediment to the successful execution of the tasks involved. Please consider this request positively and grant me the permission to withdraw my name.
In a nutshell...
There can be several other situations where you need to say no to your boss. The most important factor that you must remember is that while saying no, you must be extremely polite, gentle, and courteous. Just make sure that your boss is in the right mood when you communicate your refusal and hopefully things will go the way you want.