How to Say No

How to Say No

  • April 1, 2022

Leader or not, we all need to provide others with the confidence to approach us with ideas, opportunities and questions. Saying ‘no’ isn’t a bad thing, in fact, a great leader knows when to say no. However, there are ways we can say no with tact and reason.


Here are some helpful ways to say not with good results:

• Listen first

You should never interrupt someone in the middle of their sentence or presentation to say no. This will show that you don’t value them or the time they put into their idea.


• Ask questions

Questions show that you’re paying attention to what the person is saying, but they might also end up revealing something helpful that could change your mind.


• Give a reason why

Just saying ‘no’ is not good enough. Explaining why you’re saying no will not only help them understand the reason, but give them the confidence to approach you in the future.


• Be clear

If it’s no, say no. Not “maybe” or “I’ll think about it”. It’s unfair on yourself and the other person if you know the final answer will be no. You might think that you’re being kind, but this will cause others to lose trust and respect in you.


Remember, it’s okay to say no.



Written by Sahar Habib
Founder of Coach Wilson