Would you like to do this job again?

Do you want to deliver your project a little earlier?

Can you stay an hour longer today so I can leave earlier?

These are questions that many people have trouble with: saying yes is easiest at the moment, but there are also limits to your ability (and will).

How do you indicate those boundaries in a good way?

Tip 1: You don't have to say no

It sounds like a big step: if you always say yes to everything, you suddenly have to say no.

But that is not necessary at all, says Erik van Gend, coach and director of YEARTH Academy.

"Assertiveness is naturally standing up for your interests. I always recommend that you present a few choices to others, all of which are good for you."

For example, say, "I can help for an hour this afternoon. I'll have more time on Monday and we could possibly sit down for two hours. Or we'll do it next Friday, then we can work it all out. Which do you prefer?"

In this way, according to Van Gend, you show that you like to think along and help, without having to bend over backwards.

The other person can choose, but it is your choice.

Also read at Intermediair: 'Are you worried about work?

This is how you learn to control negative thoughts'

Tip 2: Compare the consequences

People who find it difficult to stand up for themselves often think it has negative consequences, says Hidde Santman, trainer at GITP.

"For example, they think they'll get a bad grade if they don't take on a job, damage the company, or even get fired."

But it's not that bad at all.

"You are not solely responsible and you are not indispensable. The country goes on when Prime Minister Rutte is sick, a hospital if the top specialist cannot work ... And even if you are not there or cannot do something, it will be fine. with you."

“If you indicate that you cannot pick up something (now), then that is seen as reliable.”

Hidde Santman, GITP

Which, according to Santman, is also good to realize: people who indicate their limits are valued more.

"Of course, that must fit within the boundaries of your work. As an international pilot, for example, you cannot say that you only want to work five hours in a row. But if you indicate that you cannot pick up something (now), then that is seen as reliable. People know what you can do for them, and you can do the work that you do take on well."

Tip 3: Schedule a little time-out

Are you someone who is quick to say yes, and then regret it?

Then teach yourself to take some extra time before reacting, advises Van Gend.

"Listen carefully to what someone asks of you, and then say that you will have a look at your agenda and come back to it in a moment. That way you buy a little time-out for yourself, in which you can calmly estimate how much time it costs and you can think about whether and how you want to do that, then you can come back to it with a proposal."

Van Gend also applies this strategy himself: "I'm busy, but by doing it this way I keep control over my own time, that's important."

“Recognize that people are naturally inclined to think constructively.

If you give them that chance, a situation rarely leads to conflict.”

Erik van Gend, YEARTH Academy

Tip 4: Keep it to yourself

"Tell what you experience yourself, without blaming the other person, because most people don't mean anything wrong when they ask you to work extra, for example," says Santman.

"They just don't realize how much work you already have and how much time that question takes, so give this in a calm tone."

Van Gend adds: "Recognize that people are naturally inclined to think constructively. If you give them that chance, a situation rarely leads to conflict."

Tip 5: Think: how would that one colleague do this?

Do you continue to find it difficult to find the right tone or words to indicate your limits?

Then think of a colleague you might look up to in this area, says Santman.

"How would that person indicate their limits? Can you learn something from that? Or even better: talk to that person about how that person does that and what thoughts he or she has that help with that."

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