Alright bloggers, we have an issue here. I got a phone call from a good friend of mine the other day and he was exposing me a frustrating situation he was facing at work. His boss wanted him to spy his colleague and friend. Have you ever faced that situation? How then can we give a NO to our superior?
One thing you should be aware of is that people whose actions and decisions are based on their values and principles might not be the most welcomed and loved but they are definitely the most respected. That is exactly what I first told my friend. With that said, is the YES or NO you give to your boss that is really important, is the reason behind your answer no matter what the request was.
Now, let’s assume you are ethical and values driven. How to present your final decision to your boss? I personally believes you should go and meet him in closed doors first. The reason behind meeting up with him in closed doors is to avoid any challenge with him in public that could end up affecting his self-esteem and therefore will take the situation to another level. Now, before meeting up with him, you should definitely make sure you have either booked the appointment with his assistant and that she has that written down or you make sure you have sent him an email specifying the reasons of the appointment. Other than the fact that is the normal way to process, the reason behind this is that if for any reasons after your NO he tends to turn the situation against you or he tries to make something to set you up, the you will have a joker to play to set you free of any wrong accusations.
Now, during the meeting with your boss as you let him know of your decision to go against his request, you have to be humble, polite, respectful, but STRAIGHT and FIRM. Here is an example of how to say NO:
“Thanks for taking the time to meet up with me, I really appreciate that. Just like I specified on my email (at your assistant), the reason of this meeting regards your late request. I did take in consideration the trust you give by giving me such responsibilities and I am honored, but I am afraid that path does not match with my life line. I know your objective is to meet your goal but I am scared I am not the right one for that. Have you thought asking the help of … I guess he will be flattered to have that opportunity. What do you think?”
So once your NO expressed, if you know someone who might be happy to fill the request you do not want, then you can turn now the direction of the discussion which put you on the bench and now you become more like an advisor giving referral.
Now let me highlight this because it’s important since each action provokes a reaction. When you oppose yourself to your boss decision or request, you must make sure that the request wasn’t par of your job, and you must make sure that when it comes to your work and responsibilities, that you are irreproachable.
To my friend it all happened about two weeks ago and together we managed the situation. Not only he did say NO and wasn’t blamed for it but he did get a promotion at a managerial position because of the values he shared. The only problem was that he’s been promoted to get his friend’s position. Now, is that an issue?