Many people are afraid to say “no” at work and think that management just want a “yes person”. But, sometimes saying no will earn you respect and even benefit your organization. While it’s true that saying “yes” can increase opportunities and keep you in a favorable light with some, sometimes saying “no,” is still the right thing to do at work.

If you say “yes” to everything that comes across your desk, you will end up struggling and most likely failing to fulfill all your promises. Instead, stay focused on your top priorities, and say no to anything that is not in line with your goals. It may sound counterintuitive, but in order to be a good team player sometimes you have to say “no” to some meetings or tasks. You will not be good at anything if you are stretched too thin. Plus, saying no to some things will give you a chance to say yes to others. If you take on more than you can handle, or do someone else’s job for them, it will end up being counterproductive to the team’s success.

The word “no” doesn’t have to carry a negative connotation.  Not all ideas or opportunities should be a “yes” when employees are thinking critically. Don’t be a people pleaser who would rather fall behind than say “no.” You don’t want to have to learn the hard way that saying “yes” to every request just does not work. Leadership will admire your foresight and critical thought process if you say “no” to projects or processes that do not serve the team’s goals.

So, when it’s necessary, don’t be afraid to say the word, “no” at work.