Thursday, September 19th, 2019

Successful Business Women Learn to Say NO

By Narges Nirumvala on May 02 2011 • Filed under The Power Communicator

Successful Business Women Learn to Say NO!There are many reasons why business women find it hard to say no – they don’t want to upset anyone, they want everyone to like them, they want to avoid confrontation or they don’t want to lose someone’s business. Recently I had to say no to a client. It was a difficult decision for me, because I’m the sort of person (perhaps like you) that bends over backwards for my customers and I usually do anything within my power to make them happy. But in this situation I was beginning to feel like I was being taken advantage of, so after a lot of soul searching I decided to say NO. I salvaged the relationship and everything worked out. The time I had to reflect on the situation inspired this article.

Here are some situations where it will be beneficial for you to say NO:

You Feel Uncomfortable.

You’re in a meeting with a colleague and he shares a derogatory or sexual comment or joke (this has happened to me more than once I can tell you!) and you feel uncomfortable all of a sudden. Most women in this situation would say nothing. WRONG! He will respect you more and you will respect yourself more if you do say something – draw clear boundaries and say NO “No, I don’t need to hear any more jokes or comments like that. I hope you understand.”

Procrastinating To Start A Project.

Learning to say no is a powerful tool to help you overcome procrastination. Perhaps you’ve been putting off a particular project again and again, because it just doesn’t interest you. So why did you say yes in the first place? I can’t answer that question – but it’s something for you to think about. You also need to reconcile yourself with the fact you have to just get on with it and finish what you committed to do and next time say NO to start with.

Under Quoted Your Fees.

So many women (and men!) underestimate the value of their time. If you set a flat fee for a project and have estimated a specific amount of time and now it’s gone way, way over that allotment, it may be time to sit down with your client and explain the situation. If they keep making changes to the initial project specifications and you keep putting in the time for a flat fee, eventually you’ll be earning little more than minimum wage when you work it out hourly. It’s time to say NO, politely of course. This conversation must happen either in person or over the phone – not in an email or text message! Next time estimate a realistic amount of time.

Over Worked and Over Stressed.

You’ve heard the expression, "if you want something done, give it to someone who’s busy." Well I agree with that to a point – if you’re so busy that your life is out of balance and you don’t have the time to get anything done, then you need to say NO to something. Something has to give so you can re-establish your equilibrium.

Learning how to say this simple two letter word will slowly help you evolve into a more successful business woman because you will procrastinate less, manage your time better, quote more realistic fees (and as a result make more profit) and establish boundaries with your colleagues. So pick one situation today where you need to take charge and just say NO.


Journal Exercise:

Write about a time when you said yes to something when you really wanted to say no.

– Why did you say Yes?

– How did you feel about it?

– On a level of 1 to 10, how much stress did it cause you?

– How much stress would it have caused you to say "No?"

– How did it turn out in the end?

– Brainstorm three ways you could have said 'no' in a professional and assertive manner.


1 Comment

  1. Hi Narges, I loved this post. I wrote a similar post this week. Saying no as a business woman is so important to making sure we get done what WE need to get done instead of what other’s would like to see us doing. Great job!

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