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How to say 'no' at work in a constructive way

04 June 2015

Saying “no” to your superiors, peers and subordinates is one of the most challenging aspects of the modern workplace.

Everyone needs to say ‘no’ at some point but in doing so you could risk coming across as being disagreeable, disrespectful, or at worst dispensable to the people and the organisation. So learning to say ‘no’ in a constructive and assertive manner can help you in your career.

Declining to do what you’ve been asked to do needs some careful thought and planning, after all you still need to deliver on your own role and responsibilities and saying ‘no’ could affect these. Reasons for saying ‘no’ may be varied; either that the task risks your own performance, that you have very good reasons for disagreement, or for unethical or illegal reasons.

The key point is that you are very specific and clear about what the reasons are and that you get this across in a considered and professional manner.

Here are some guidelines that will help you say ‘no’ in a way that will not seem like an unreasonable refusal.

Build your good reputation
As an employee, you may have little say about the tasks being assigned by your superiors but don’t despair. You can prove your good work ethic, enthusiasm for the job, and willingness to learn by saying “yes” to as many jobs as you can handle, perhaps even a few more. You can, however, ask for guidance in the crucial aspects of the tasks and for assistance in workload prioritisation.

Basically, you must build your reputation as a reliable employee who will deliver. You will then have more leverage when you say “no” to certain tasks for valid reasons.

Ask before saying “no”
Before disagreeing to the tasks being offered by a superior or a peer, be sure to ask the right questions first. You have to completely understand what the tasks involve including the time frame, parameters of accomplishment, and impact of work, among others. You may even ask for a few hours or days to think about the tasks so that you can formulate valid reasons for your refusal, if and when you come to the decision.

Explain your reasons
If possible, you should avoid saying “no” without explaining your reasons for doing so. Your superior or colleague will likely appreciate your reasons for refusal and perhaps even provide assistance in your tasks. Your good communication skills will come in handy at this point.

For example, you can say that you are refusing the additional task because your quality of work will suffer in the process. You may also tell the other person about your future availability or your ability to provide partial assistance on the task.

Offer an alternative
Your ability to say “no” in a constructive manner also hinges on your ability to propose alternative solutions. In a way, you are still providing assistance for the other person without actually putting your entire physical energy and mental effort into the additional task. You are still being a team player, thus, contributing your share into the achievement of team goals.

For example, you can offer assistance on a job-related aspect. You will still be doing your main tasks yet also doing something for the team.

Personally say it
While emails, chats and calls may be convenient, you can soften the blow, so to speak, by saying it in a face-to-face manner. Your email or chat may have undertones that the receiver can misunderstand and having caused the wrong impression will be very difficult to get back on the level you want to be.

Your refusal at work for certain tasks will not be easy but when you can deal with it in a professional manner, it becomes easier.


Why gravitas is important for your career

07 April 2015

Gravitas is usually associated with perceptions of influence, authority, dignity and importance. The strength of this association is so strong that it leads others to feel more confident with the person that has gravitas despite their levels of experience, education or skills. In other words it can override and be dominant against many other attributes.

But is Gravitas something that can be acquired through learning or a luminous radiation surrounding a person that they are born with?

In Roman society, gravitas (gravity) was one of the desired virtues among men and women along with dignitas (dignity), pietas (piety), and virtus (virtue). In the modern world, gravitas is considered one of the most important attributes to develop for a career. Indeed, the possession of gravitas can make careers, especially among individuals who want to achieve top jobs.

The physical attributes of a person with gravitas generally resembles a well-groomed professional who is confident and smartly, and appropriately attired for the work that they do. They will also have good body posture, tone and volume of voice, and be able to talk authoritatively about the work that they do. 

In terms of mental state and emotional responses, a person who possesses gravitas is associated with good judgement even under pressure, the ability to speak in an inspiring manner, and command respect from peers and subordinates.

Importance in career development

It goes without saying that having gravitas is important and possession of it can help you get to places that you would not have got to on just hard work, skills and education alone.

Such is the power of this magic that some people seem to have in spades and for others it evades.

According to Albert Mehrabian, a University of California psychology professor emeritus, 55% of first impressions are made based on appearances (i.e., what the eyes can see) alone while the tone of voice including its pace, pitch and volume contributes to just 35% of the impressions. This means that only a mere 10% will go to the actual impact of the content being presented.

So as much as the substance of your brains including your top-notch education, training and work experience matters, you should also put effort into your charismatic appeal.

You may be the smartest pebble on the beach but if you're not commanding attention or taken seriously then you'll be one pebble among millions trying to be noticed.

Gravitas development tips

There are people who seem to be born with more gravitas but fortunately it is also something that can be developed. The following tips can help you work on your professional appeal.

  • Dress in a manner that commands respect. Clean clothes are a must even when it comes to casual Fridays, more so when wearing business suits.
  • Adopt good body posture – stand up straight, elongate your spine, and avoid slouching when sitting or standing up. Be sure to hold yourself in a manner that expresses your confidence and commands respect from others without bordering on arrogance.
  • Be conscious about your body language, facial expressions and tone of voice. These will take practice but when you have it down pat, everything else becomes natural.

Use appropriate language depending on the situation. Make eye contact with people. Use the right tone of voice, pitch and volume when talking to them.

While gravitas may take hard work on your part, its benefits will all be worth it.

At Morgan Hunt we emphasise the importance of gravitas in career development and, thus, we assist our job applicants in developing it. We also maintain in-depth knowledge about the sectors we are involved in so that we can closely work with both clients and candidates.


How to get your message across in meetings

19 March 2015

"Getting your message across is all important for your career" -
8 tips on how to do this when everyone else is talking

Meetings come in many forms and guises; there are those which are formal, incredibly well organised, everyone knows their place and is given floor-time equally or proportionately and then there are the more informal, disorganised meetings which appear to be more like free-for-alls.

Whichever of these you attend you know that in order for your career to progress you need to participate. After all it's a dog-eat-dog world and if you sit on the side lines like a wall flower you're not going to notch-up any brownie points. In fact non-participation is often viewed as a failing, a weakness, a chink in your armour.

So how do you make your voice heard when everyone else is talking? Here are 8 tips to help you get your message across.


Grab air space when you can

Air space, or floor-time, is the crux of the matter. When everyone is talking over each other this chaos may seem impenetrable; as soon as there's a lapse in the conversation, no matter how small, grab the air space. Stand up if necessary so that everyone knows you've got the floor.


Use body language

Use positive body language to show that you have something to say. Shy away or stare out of the window and you'll be ignored. Look at the speaker, raise your eyebrows if you don't agree or are surprised at what they're saying, they might then ask for your thoughts giving you the opportunity to have your say.


Make a statement

Sometimes being tactful isn't the way to go. Making a bold statement such as “I've got a very different opinion on that” in a very loud voice may just silence your colleagues for that split second you need to grab the air space.


Pump up the volume

In disorganised, rowdy meetings it's acceptable for you to pump up the volume as much as the next person, within reason, just as long as conversations don't end up as shouting matches. Raise your voice in a polite, but authoritative manner; showing your assertiveness may gain you recognition as having good leadership skills.


Be succinct

Once you've got your air space and the floor-time be succinct; get your point or message across as quickly as you can, because someone else could interrupt and start talking across you within a very short space of time.


Start a side conversation

Often disorganised meetings have a tendency to break into sub groups. Take the lead and begin a side conversation with others who look as if they're being left out of the main discussion. Again this will show good leadership skills, it will also show that you have good awareness and social skills. However, make sure that the conversation you start is in-keeping with the topic of the meeting.


Use good social skills and assist others

You can also use your good social skills to assist others who appear to be struggling with the chaos. Say in a loud voice “what are your thoughts on that?” to encourage them to join in. You do need to be tactful when assisting others as you may be seen as interfering or playing mother-hen to those who would rather do things their own way and in their own time.


Repetition, repetition, repetition

You could try the age old trick of repetition. By repeating your opening statement over and over again until you're heard or taken notice of may seem a little out-dated but sometimes the oldest tricks actually work.

The next time you're in a meeting and it feels like you're trying to cross a busy motorway at commuter time just to get your voice heard, don't stand startled by the headlights like a rabbit, judge when the time is right, put your best foot forward and go for it.


How to choose the right recruitment agency

17 December 2014

Whether you are looking for your first full time job after finishing university or you simply wish to embark upon a new career, seeking the services of a recruitment agency can drastically improve your chances of finding the right role. With so many recruitment agencies available, it can be difficult to assess which one is right for you and your situation, which is why the specialist team here at Morgan Hunt have devised a comprehensive guide to ensure you choose the best agency no matter what sort of job you are looking for.

Search by specialism

Recruitment agencies will often specialise in a certain industry sector, so ensuring you take the time to research their areas of interest before contacting them directly will save you time and help you find the right role. Here at Morgan Hunt, we cover many industry sectors including construction, finance and marketing to name just a few.

Online Search Facilities

When considering which recruitment agency to use, it is beneficial to ensure their website offers an online search facility for all current vacancies. This means that you can be pro-active about your search and contact them directly should you discover a role you think your skills and experience match. Our website has been designed with the user in mind, allowing you to search by keywords, salary brackets, location and industry with ease.


Unfortunately, there are some agencies in operation that simply do not possess the level of commitment you deserve as a service user. Choosing Morgan Hunt means this needn’t be a concern as each and every one of our trusted consultants are committed to placing you within a fulfilling and appropriate working environment, taking your preferences on industry and salary into consideration. 

When looking for recruitment agencies capable of meeting and exceeding your every need as a job seeker, choose the number one team here at Morgan Hunt. With a wealth of previous experience and a commitment to finding the right role for you, there is simply no better agency to call upon.


Top 3 Reasons for Choosing Recruitment Agencies

17 December 2014

Searching for a job can often be a tedious and lengthy process. Here at Morgan Hunt we want to try and take the stress out of it in order to make it easier when it comes to finding your next job as we are one of the leading recruitment agencies looking for staff in a variety of industry sectors. The team here have a wealth of experience and knowledge in placing the right people in the right jobs, and are always on hand to help in your journey.

Save Time

One of the key benefits to using our service is that it’s designed to save you the time of spending hours looking for a job. Using the simple and easy to use search facilities on our website, you can access a wide variety of vacancies with the click of a mouse. You are also able to narrow these vacancies down to search in job categories, location and even salary, dependant on which is most important to you. Additionally, you can upload your CV to our website for it to then be viewed by potential employers and our service even extends to sending you job alerts when a job we think would be suitable becomes available.

Quality of Jobs

As we are a leading recruitment agency, we have access to a selection of the best quality jobs. Some firms and employers will choose to only advertise jobs through agencies, so you may not find them through traditional job searching methods. If you take advantage of our service, we can ensure that you are noticed by some of the leading companies looking for new employees.


As the team here at Morgan Hunt have experience and expertise in the industries that we recruit for, we can be on hand to offer you advice and guidance to getting a job in your chosen field. We deal directly with employers so have knowledge of what the job market looks like at the moment.

Why not maximise the efficiency of searching for a job and turn to one of the leading recruitment agencies for assistance? Contact us at Morgan Hunt to see how we could help you land your dream vacancy. For more information on the service we offer, feel free to search our website today.


Career change? A recruitment agency can provide excellent opportunities

17 December 2014

Whether you feel that you can progress no further in your current role, or you are ready for a new challenge, it might be time for a career change. Switching to a new industry, or even finding a new opportunity in your current sector, can be difficult yet rewarding, and when you are ready to make the change, Morgan Hunt are here to support you. We can help you to source a wide range of excellent opportunities for career progression, and you can feel confident that your job search is in safe hands with our expert recruitment agency. 

It can be difficult to find the time to look for a new job, particularly when you are already working full-time in your current role. This is where Morgan Hunt can help, as our service is designed to streamline the search for a new job and make finding new opportunities much easier. By searching our regularly-updated database of jobs, you can browse a wide variety of vacancies in one place. You can refine your search by salary, location and sector as well as search for permanent, temporary or contracted positions. This makes it easy to tailor your job search to opportunities which perfectly match your requirements.

As well as searching for jobs using our online service, we also recommend that you sign up for our job alerts. Through job alerts you will receive daily updates of relevant vacancies right to your email inbox that could be perfect for your career change. This will allow you to hear about great new opportunities even when you are on the go. You can also manage your job seeker’s profile online for added convenience, but you can rest assured that a member of our expert recruitment agency will be just a phone call away should you require any assistance. 

If you feel ready for a new challenge, or you want to take the plunge and try your hand at a new career, Morgan Hunt can help. Let our recruitment agency help you find the very best opportunities for career progression, and provide the professional support that you need as you search for a new job.

Submit your CV with us today to explore your next career move