Learning to Say No Effectively
Everyone has limits and it is important to take the time to figure out what yours are and what triggers them, especially while juggling both work and cancer treatment and recovery. In our personal lives, it may be easy to tell someone that we need space or to be left alone. However, work culture often makes that hard to do making it critical to find productive ways to communicate your limits. Learning to set these boundaries on-the-job might enable you to decline certain types of requests, such as staying late for non-essential tasks or being given new projects to complete. Although it can be difficult to say no, figuring out how can help you become a better employee; you won't be over burdened with extra work, and you won't feel trapped by every ask you receive.
The key to setting effective boundaries in the workplace is crafting language that feels natural and communicates the "no" message in a way that is still professional and team oriented.
- "I appreciate that you thought of me for this project but I'm a bit swamped this week, and am concerned about my ability to get this back to you in a timely manner."
- "Thank you for offering me these additional shifts. Unfortunately, I'm short on time at the moment as I've got some family obligations to attend to. But I'd love to talk about this possibly again in a few months, once the situation at home has settled down."
For more support in identifying what triggers your limits consider talking to a social worker who can also help you craft personalized language to communicate your needs at work.