In a corporate world, politeness is the key, when you are confronted with the following situations – i) When you wish to provide your comments or suggestions, to a peer or senior ii) When you must really say ‘no’
Based on my experience in the professional world, I would like to share my thoughts, on how to handle each of these scenarios.
When you wish to provide your comments or suggestions to a peer of senior
- Make sure that your comment always sound like a suggestion. For instance, instead of “You should have done it that way”, one can say “It would be better if you done it another way <Elaborate the alternative here>”
- Never provide a comment about a particular approach, without yourself knowing the alternative or the appropriate approach
- As much as possible, try to speak to the concerned and give in your suggestion. Emails can sometimes sound offensive
- If direct contact is not possible, an email can be used. Make sure that the mail is worded properly. A mail, considered offensive, will never serve its purpose
- When sending an email, make sure that CC is required, only if it is extremely important to broadcast. Unnecessary broadcast would offend the concerned and also the larger audience would have nothing to gain from your suggestion
- If your comment or suggestion has a flaw in it, accept it right away. There is no harm in accepting that you are at mistake, rather than hiding it
When you must really say “no”
- This is one of the very difficult things to do, in professional life
- Before giving any commitment, make sure that you do your home work on how to proceed
- If any clarifications are required, make sure that they are explicitly communicated to the manager (or whoever assigns you the work)
- After the analysis, if you feel that the work cannot be taken up due to technical or time constraints, state explicitly. Never wait for a long time before you say “no”
- In case the work cannot be taken up, be ready to give an unambiguous justification and provide alternatives. For instance, rather than saying “I cannot do it because I have not worked in J2EE”, one can say that “I have not worked in any J2EE projects before. I can take up this next week, after spending some time understanding the basics of J2EE”
- In case of hurdles during execution of work, make sure that you communicate them to your manager. In many cases, the hurdles can be overcome with help from the seniors
- If the hurdles are not resolved even after the help from seniors, make sure you buy some more time or ask for transferring the work to someone else
If you have any more suggestions on this front, please feel free to communicate.
Have a great weekend!