Leaders feel pressured to approve proposals, but they shouldn't: The art of saying 'no'

Leaders can often feel pressured to approve proposed projects, but can quickly find themselves stretched thin if they do not learn how to say no, according to the Harvard Business Review.

Here are three steps to help leaders say no.

1. Ensure requests are in writing. One way to help standardize the pitching process is mandate they be submitted in writing. This forces employees to carefully articulate their proposals and makes it harder for leaders to give an offhand response.

2. Each "no" should be firm. If a leader rejects an idea, they should make sure employees know it is a concrete answer and does not leave an opportunity to immediately revisit or re-pitch.

3. Each "yes" should be equally as firm. Employees will respect your rejection more if you set an example of standing by projects you greenlight. Leaders should make sure to give full support and effort to approved ideas.

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