Jill Brooks On: The Need to Say No

What do we have in common with bulls? Plenty if you’re asking author Jill Brooke, whose latest book The Need to Say No uses the metaphor of a bull to teach its readers how to, as the tagline goes, “be bullish and not bullied.” She outlines the different types of bulls we all encounter — the good and the bad — and shares her guide to navigating those relationships and setting boundaries in your life. Here, a few of those tips for the workplace…

Carry your own load
Many human bulls complain that their hard work isn’t getting them anywhere. Often this is because they haven’t said no to other tasks. Time management is essential for success because there are rarely any overnight successes and mostly up-all-night successes.

Listen carefully to a boss or client’s needs. What do they want and not want? What do you both have in common? We are so programmed to think, “Yes, this is what they want,” that we often don’t decipher what someone is really saying.

Sharpen your bull horns
We all like to stretch. But keep your nose focused on what you are good at and keep the stretching for yoga class. Sharpen your natural strengths in building your professional future.

Bosses are not your therapist
Know this: Your boss is not obligated to compliment you, because you are being paid for a job. Your paycheck is the reward. Keep conversations fenced around work issues.

Winning is not crushing your opponent or making someone lose. Saying no to that impulse is being a wise bull. It’s like bull riding. You ride for only eight seconds and get off. This way the spirit of neither man nor animal is broken.

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