Learn When to Say No

Ever since companies started working more cross-functionally and collaboratively, exchanging top-down management for dotted-line reporting with fuzzy accountability, work has gotten more complicated. All day every day, most of us are fielding requests. The asks are formal and informal, large, and small. They’re not just from direct bosses and teammates but also from “internal customers” all over the organizational chart. Add to this the demands of external stakeholders, of family, friends, and acquaintances, and sometimes even of complete strangers. The requests keep coming—across tables and through zoom screens, by phone, e-mail, and instant message. The inflow is daunting. And now more than ever, your professional success and personal well-being depend on how you manage it. You can’t say yes to...

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