Want some business consulting advice that might surprise you? AccelaWork principal Robby Slaughter appeared in the Indianapolis Business Journal with some thoughts on a very small word.
For most Hoosiers, work is the process of accepting responsibility. Ambitious employees actually pursue more duties, perhaps because they believe putting in long hours is the fastest route to promotion and career advancement.
Whether we do so out of fear, greed or a sense of duty, relentlessly volunteering for more work is one of the worst choices we can make at the office. Instead, we must bring back a term we’ve intentionally forgotten: the word “no.”
Slaughter explains that “saying no” is actually a way to be more productive at work:
[Saying yes] ignores perhaps the most fundamental aspect of modern work: specialization. The human resources specialist is not an information technology expert; the graphic designer is not an account manager; the receptionist is not a sales representative; and the vice president of finance is not a copy editor.
Yet when you ask a cube-mate to look at something wonky on your computer, to e-mail the client with an update, to call a prospect with a new promotion, or to edit your memo to the board, you are unconsciously denying their years of effort in becoming a highly focused expert. You are requesting they do something they really don’t know how to do.
Try it yourself. Become more productive by saying no more often. As writer Josh Billings once quipped: “Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.”
Reach out to AccelaWork for more business consulting advice.