2017-08-30 20:26:58 UTC

The Art of Saying No

Aug. 30, 2017

Growing professionally involves knowing when and how to say “no.”

It may be tempting early in your career to say “yes” to anything asked of you. Finding a balance of when and how to say “no” will help ensure you don’t overextend yourself and you have time for pursuing your priorities and growing in your career.

Suzanne Rose, MD, MSED, AGAF, addressed this question during an eQ&A on leadership in medical education  in the AGA Community Early Career Group. She suggests the following to help you decide when to say “yes” or “no.”

Think about your time. You should say "no" if you cannot complete the work in a timely fashion and certainly not accept a commitment if you cannot devote the time to it to make it great.  

Be gracious. The best way to say "no" is to be gracious and not to close any doors for the future.  

Be open to future opportunities. Be appreciative and honest about your commitments, and offer to participate in another endeavor in the future.  

Seek flexibility. If you are not sure and it is only about the timeline, you can ask if there is any flexibility.  

View the full discussion and other tips when seeking a work-life balance.