When NO is not Enough
You may find that dealing with difficult employees can be trying at best. It can be a real pain to communicate your points across to such employees. This could be due to their lack of attention or even an inability to understand a topic. Odds are many of you reading this have had just such encounters. There are times though when dealing with this sort of employee that you may find that telling them no concerning certain issues is just an answer that they are unwilling or unable to accept. So what do you do when NO is not enough?
Part of the key to positive communications involves ensuring that your message is clear enough to not be lost in translation. For employees such as those mentioned above, you may have to take extra precautions to avoid such issues. Are you being straightforward when you give your response? Are you coming out with a firm ‘No’ rather than burying it in extraneous verbiage that could water down what you are trying to say? Rather than saying something like “I don’t think that your idea is viable at this time,” try saying something much more direct such as “Your idea is not an option at this time.”
Keep in mind that you do not have to be rude or overly abrupt when saying this, but you should make sure that you properly emphasize your point so that there is no room for negotiation. There will be times when you will have employees ask for time off during very inopportune periods such as during the holiday rush or while the company is in the middle of an important group project. Rather than allowing yourself to seem somewhat undecided on the point, make sure that all your employees understand that time off is nonnegotiable during this period (other than during emergency situations).
This will help strengthen your position when approached by that one employee who simply doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. You will then be in a much more comfortable place to be able to give a straightforward ‘No’ to this person. Even when you make your position clear, there will be those employees who cannot seem to accept no for an answer. What do you do when dealing with these employees? As a manager it is important for you to accept and own your role in the company. Make sure that you are well within your right to offer a negative answer to that employee.
If they continue to push, then you may have to refer the issue to a higher authority. At worst however it may be necessary to counsel the employee on what insubordinate behaviors can mean. Never fear having to be the boss. You are in charge for a reason and should remember that it is your say that counts at the end of the day. Stand strong and let your employees know that ‘No’ means just that.