The Singapore Government recently announced its budget for 2016 and it includes plans for more support for small and medium businesses (SMBs). For instance, the…
Face it: sometimes a boss uses his power to abuse his employees. This could come in many shapes and forms. Your boss might give you unreasonable workload while you already have too much on your plate, demand you to work overtime on the weekends, or even ask you to carry out personal chores not related to work.
As inconvenient as it sounds, you realise that your lower position at work makes it difficult for you to refuse such requests. On the other hand, however, you do not want to be labeled as a ‘yes-man’ who is willing to do anything to please your boss as well. Then what should you do if you find yourself trapped in such situation?
The truth is, your boss’ words are not something absolute that you must obey without question. Yet, it cannot be denied that saying ‘no’ to their requests can be an intimidating and terrifying thing to do. This is understandable, considering that as an employees you might feel obliged to obey your boss’ orders and follow their work rhythm. If you refuse their orders or refute their words, there might be concern that such behaviour will affect your career in the organisation, given that your boss has higher authority than you.
If what your employer ask for is in accordance with your capacity and ability and does not violate the company’s rules, then you have no reason not to fulfill it. But what happens if what they order is something that you know has the potentials to bring something negative or failure? Of course, saying ‘no’ is the best option you can take.
You need to keep in mind that in order to prevent negative consequences or any threats for your career, you have to apply the right strategy in expressing your opinions to your boss. Here are some risk-free ways to say ‘no’ to your employer at work:
- Know your position
Before saying ‘no’ to your boss’ demand, you should understand your position in the company first. Are you in a position that allows you to turn down your boss’ requests to do a particular task? For example, if your previous performance review shows poor evaluation or bad score and you say ‘no’ to your boss, maybe this will only worsen your reputation. On the contrary, if recently you get praise for giving excellent performance, then you have greater privilege to say ‘no’.
- Evaluate your reason
Do not just say ‘no’ for no apparent reason, because this will only make you look like a lazy individual. Instead, you should evaluate the reasons why you do not want to do it. For example, you should think if the request is in conflict with your personal values, illegitimate tasks that violate work rules, or other reasons.
- Explain the consequences
For instance, your boss asks you to work on a project that, in your opinion, is most likely to fail. As a good employee, you do not want the business go down because of this. In such case, all you have to do is tell your boss that you share the same goals as him and explain the consequences that might occur if the task remains executed. Share the facts with your boss so he will understand it better.
- Share your circumstances
When your boss gives you a lot of work while you are still working on other tasks, you need to explain your current circumstances that makes you unable to take on his new orders. Sometimes, a boss does not understand how busy their employees are and it isyour job to tell him the truth.
- Throw out other ideas
Chances are, none likes it when his idea is rejected by others, let alone his subordinates. The best way to reject something is to offer better alternative options. You can compromise with your employer by presenting other possibilities that are in accordance with your abilities and in accordance with your boss’ wishes.
- Redirect the task
If you feel the tasks requested by your boss do not match your expertise, or you are simply too busy with another task, then you can ask him to redirect the project to your coworkers. You can give recommendations about who is suitable for handling the task, so your boss will trust your judgment.
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Edited by Bronwen Appel OpenRecruiters, led by Brandon Lee, intends to lead changes in the HR scene in Singapore. A graduate of Nanyang Polytechnic with…