How to Say No With Grace
It’s good to help people, say yes to opportunities, attend events and support friends, colleagues and clients.
However, now and again you have to say no. For your own sanity, here are a few ways to respectfully decline:
The management sandwich (layers: positive | negative | positive)“That sounds a great opportunity, but I’m all booked up until [insert date]. I’m happy to put this on my list for then if you like.”
Straight up“I’m so sorry, but I can’t.”
Remove all doubt“I wish I could, but it is just not possible right now. Thank you for thinking of me.”
The Helpful ‘No’“Thanks, but I can’t. Let me help you find a solution.”
It’s not you, it’s me“Thank you for asking, but I’m not doing any [request made] while I’m working on [project].”