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4 Ways To Stop Feeling Pressured To Say Yes In The Workplace



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Have you ever said yes to a work decision you didn’t necessarily agree with or felt obligated to say yes? Chances are your answer to that question is most likely a ‘yes.’ Don’t worry; you are not alone. The fear of saying ‘no’ in the workplace and feelings of guilt associated with it is still widespread, even in today’s day and age.

More often than not, we go along with workplace decisions, particularly decisions made by our senior managers, even if it makes us unhappy. There are several reasons for this, but the common one is the fear that saying no will result in us losing future opportunities for a promotion or pay rise and the feelings of guilt associated with this. Whether these are learned behaviors from society or not, one thing is for sure; we have not fully understood the art of decision-making or saying no correctly.

After spending the last decade in a high-pressure work environment, I have seen the long-term impacts on individuals who continually say yes. These include feelings of burnout, depression, or anxiety which slowly begin to intervene with the way an individual goes about their daily life. To release you from the pressures of saying ‘yes’ all the time, use this easy four-step process below and regain control of your work life!

1. Personal interest

When approached by an employer, whether it is to take on a higher role with the same pay or complete a task that is not within your job description, always ask yourself: Does what they’re asking me to do fit within my lifestyle or career plan?

If the answer is no, then there’s no reason to say yes to something that does not suit your needs or future career aspirations. We all live different lives and therefore have different personal needs and interests.

For example, let’s say your workplace has offered you a promotion, but you have a side hustle, and your long-term goal has always been to work for yourself and leave your current role when possible. While a promotion may seem like a great opportunity from your employer’s perspective, it will prevent you from having the extra time to concentrate on your long-term goal.

“When you say yes to others, make sure you are not saying no to yourself.” – Paulo Coelho

2. Satisfaction

As we spend the majority of our hours at work, nothing could be worse than not being satisfied with or dislike what we are doing in the workplace on a daily basis. Doing any task for an extended period of time that you are not satisfied with will result in your mental health suffering. So, anytime you have an opportunity to control what you can and cannot do in the workplace, take it. If you aren’t satisfied with what your workplace is proposing, learn to say the magical word – No!

3. Speak with confidence

Confidence makes a big difference when saying no and is an excellent skill to learn. If you can show confidence and emotion when speaking, your response will be better received and won’t enable the opportunity for push-back. Always maintain an even tone when speaking and try not to finish with an open-ended question.

An excellent way to remind yourself to speak with confidence is to think of previous speakers you have come across at seminars or webinars. Which speaker got your attention, the one that bore you to death or the one who spoke with confidence and emotion? Speaking with confidence is critical if you want to be articulate in how you decline an offer.

4. Don’t compare yourself

When surrounded by team members who constantly say yes to everything in the workplace, it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling obligated to say yes too. Fortunately, it need not be that way. You need to see yourself as an individual and understand that what may suit your work colleagues doesn’t necessarily have to suit you too. We all have different needs and complete work tasks differently; not one person is the same. If your fellow team members get excited about doing an additional ten tasks on top of their current workload, good for them, but know that you do not have to operate in the same manner. It’s okay to be different!

Saying no is a daunting task to many people, but it need not be. If you want to learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you need to start exercising the above tips. It is your right to decline all that does not serve you. At first, you may feel out of your comfort zone, but don’t let that phase you. After doing it a few times, it will become second nature to you.

It is also essential to understand that it doesn’t matter where you sit on the corporate ladder or where you work; if something does not serve you or your more significant needs, you don’t need to oblige to the demands placed upon you by members of your workplace. So, start today and say no to anything that doesn’t serve you!

Filiz Behaettin is a best-selling author, freelance writer and speaker. Her latest book 'Elevate: the practical guide to living your best life and succeeding' is available at most bookstores including Barnes and Noble. Filiz offers 1-on-1 mentoring and consulting services, copywriting, editing and manuscript services. She is also available for corporate speaking engagements and school visits. You can contact Filiz at or follow her at

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20 Ways You Can Become a Powerful Communicator



Emile Steenveld Speaker and Coach

Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.

Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.

But, don’t worry if you don’t naturally possess this skill, as effective communication is something that can be developed with practice, planning and preparation.

1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.


2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.


3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.


4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.


5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.


6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.


7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.


8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.


9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.


10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.


11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.


12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.


13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.


14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.


15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.


16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.


17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.


18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.


19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.


20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.


By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at so you can master your life with more success.

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