Use the Tape Technique for positive ways to say NO!  Focus your conversation on the positives / the can do’s FIRST!

1. “Yes, I can certainly look at that for you, although it will have to be in (abc timeframe) once I’ve completed this (xyz deadline) – is that OK with you?”

2. “Yes, I can work on that in an hour / this afternoon / tomorrow with you, although I do need to get this (xyz deadline) met first – are you happy to wait while I do that?”

3. “Yes, I can work on that problem with you just as soon as I’ve completed (abc) Are you OK with that or would it be better to see if (name) could help you, if it’s urgent?”

4. “I’d like to do that for you, if I wasn’t so pressed for time – and things are just too hectic for me at the moment, thank you anyway.”

5. “Yes, I could have sorted that out for you, if I had known about it earlier, however……….”

6. “I’d have been delighted to help, if only you’d asked me earlier, however……”

7. “Thanks for putting your trust in me, however I am fully committed at the moment – will you remember me next time round?”

8. “I’d like to sort that out for you, although I’ve got so many demands on my time right now that I wouldn’t really do justice to what you need – and things get a bit easier (tomorrow / next week / next month). Would that be of any help to you?”

9. “I’d love to do that for you. Could you do (xyz) for me, otherwise I’ll have no free time to work on my other priorities?”

10. “Thank you for asking. I am actually busy on something else then, however have you thought of asking (name / dept)? I can ring them for you if you’d like?”

11. “I’d like to help, however I just have no time for additional commitments that (hour / day / week) …. and thanks for your understanding.”

12. “I’m happy to look at that for you, although that’s not my area of expertise – you want someone who could do it better such as (name / dept). Shall I put you in touch with them?”

13. “Yes, that’s something I can do, although I’m working on (xyz project) at the moment, so it would have to wait until… that OK with you?”

14. “Yes, I’d be delighted to help, however the only time I can do that would be……is that any good for you?”

15. “Yes, I can certainly help you with (abc), however I couldn’t do all that as I’m committed to (xyz) at the moment – would that bit help at all?”

16. P.O.I.B.R.N OR F.O.I.B.R.N
Pronounced ‘poyburn’ (Push Off I’m Busy Right Now) or pronounced ‘foyburn’ (Fu*k Off I’m Busy Right Now!)


No no no

Hello... I'm Marie Cross

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