How to Tell Your Boss “No”—Without Saying “No”

Your boss asks you to take on a new project, and your first thought is: “There is just no way.” Maybe it’s because you’re already juggling three projects near deadline, or maybe you fundamentally disagree with his strategy.

Sure, you could try to just power through all of the projects or propose something you think a client wouldn’t be interested in, but you probably know that’s neither the best nor the most professional option.

Pushing back on a request from your boss can be intimidating (especially if you work for someone who’s, let’s say, not the most receptive to answers outside the realm of “Of course! When would you like it completed?”), but the truth is, it’s significantly better than setting yourself up to fail.

The trick is to push back more diplomatically—getting your point across without actually using the word “no.” Read on for how to approach some common situations, as well as one time you should probably just say “yes.”

See the rest of my latest Daily Muse post here.