Should You Always Say YES to Everything Your Manager Tasks You?

August 9, 201912:00 pm
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Being the nicest person as well as the top performer in her new company, Amanda cannot refuse every task and favour assigned to her. Every time her colleague, manager, or supervisor approach her to hand over more tasks to her plate, she always politely answer, “Sure, I’ll do it. When will you need it to be done?” Thanks to her “yes-men” behaviour, she can excel better in her job and is promoted faster than her fellow employees.

It sounds like a good career development strategy, right?

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If you want to be someone like Amanda, then maybe saying yes to “every” task your manager assigned to you is a good thing. As what Aliza Licht the founder and president of Leave Your Mark LLC said, if you want to gain more trust and credibility amongst your colleagues or any individual in your organisation, you should not turn down their request – not immediately. 

Saying yes, added Licht, will make the person who asks feel ease and triumphant. They will see you as a reliable and trusted person in an organisation. If you say yes more often, you will become the most popular person in the room. Additionally, taking tasks that are not your responsibility will help you thrive better in your role. It can help increase your problem-solving skills, boost creativity, and progress better in any task that you are assigned in.

Nodding to every request, nonetheless, might not always be right a right response. It might sound contrary but albeit accepting those projects can help you learn and develop as a person, it can also hinder your progress in your current role. Not only that, if you are not “good” in time management, constantly allowing yourself taking other people’s responsibility will mess your priority with other’s priority – your focus and concentration will be split, resulting in a messed up work-life balance. One more important thing is that being an assertive helper will also result in greater fatigue.

What to do, then?

The best way to allow yourself progress while not taking “too much food” on your plate is by saying no which based on fact, evidence, or rationality. You will not sound arrogant and unconvincing, said Srimathi Shivashankar, the associate vice president of HCL Technologies, if reject other people offer in a manner. All people will respect you when you sound reasonable enough with your ‘refusal’ answer, instead.

Yet, you should not always say “no” answer. You should allow yourself to progress better and be the next Amanda. How? By considering these tactics.

  1. Don’t respond immediately to a new project, role, or opportunity – Say that you will think about it then sleep over to think whether the task assigned will weigh heavily on its advantage or disadvantage to your career progression.
  2. Project bigger picture of the request – For example, your boss wants to get A project finish in 2 weeks. Instead of saying no or yes immediately, you should combine the first tactic and create a bigger report such as what additional shortfall if the project should be done in 2 weeks? Will it require more people to work on it or more budget? Then talk to your boss about this bigger picture and ask his opinion. If he agrees, then, it is worth to take.
  3. Help yourself before someone else – Haroon Rashid advised, “Before helping others, ensure that you can help yourself. Then only you can help others selflessly.” Thusly, think if your plate is already full, will you take more food? Mostly don’t. So, priorities your primary jobs first then think about helping others.

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