Learning to Say No
Although we’d like to always be able to say yes, there are times when saying no actually serves our projects, our teammates, and our stakeholders best. Software practitioners can be subject to many conflicting or unreasonable demands. A manager may insist we work on several projects simultaneously, making it impossible for us to do good work on any of them. There may be enormous pressure to work long hours, which will jeopardize our health and the quality of our work. We can even find ourselves pressured to do things that conflict with our personal values. Paradoxically, learning to say a good “no” enhances our ability to say a meaningful “yes.” Fiona Charles will show you why “no” can be a more positive answer in certain contexts, how to recognize and resist the tactics people can use to try to get us to say yes, and how to say no when that is the right answer for us—simply, and with conviction, equilibrium, and respect. Saying no is not easy for anyone, but it is a skill that we can learn.