{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Currently double booked, and absolutely livid after a meeting to discuss my allocation and the Partner who keeps promising more and more of my time to his client had the audacity to look at me and tell me with a straight face that I need to learn to say no more.\n\nEVERT TIME I SAY NO YOU OVERRIDE ME AND SAY IT'S NOT THAT MUCH WORK AND WE JUST NEED TO GET IT DONE.\n\nOf course the two men just agreed that I needed to stop being so nice, as there was any kind of way for me to win here", "post_id": "610348c5e11bdf0023784222", "reply_count": 10, "vote_count": 7, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting" }

Currently double booked, and absolutely livid after a meeting to discuss my allocation and the Partner who keeps promising more and more of my time to his client had the audacity to look at me and tell me with a straight face that I need to learn to say no more. EVERT TIME I SAY NO YOU OVERRIDE ME AND SAY IT'S NOT THAT MUCH WORK AND WE JUST NEED TO GET IT DONE. Of course the two men just agreed that I needed to stop being so nice, as there was any kind of way for me to win here

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Yes, stop getting it done. He keeps doing it because you keep getting it done.

likehelpful

Oh dear. OP, I think you very clearly misunderstood something, here. You have to learn to say no to OTHER people. Priorities, friend. This partner is clearly the priority. 🙃

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When we reach a certain point in our career, work is never finished, and there will always be an untenable number of things to do. In this case, I suggest set boundary by taking control of the agenda. “Bob, I started X and will give you review draft tonight”. “John I’ll start tomorrow but will come back to wrap up bobs project first. Bob, do you think we can finish the project by Thursday? Ok john, let’s target Friday for review”. So it’s not about saying no. It’s about saying when and how. And if Friday is unacceptable then they need to sort it out from there. Don’t take the saying one thing/then another personally. Managers sometimes spew out instructions without thinking and blame the receiver for their miscommunication.

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Wasn’t that convo you basically saying no? This person sounds like an idiot. But also like they need more of a direct approach. They are probably promising you thinking you’ll say no if it won’t work, whereas you aren’t saying no because you feel you were already promised. I’d work on getting to the root of that misalignment.

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To be clear, the history has basically gone: Client request for X Me: We can't accommodate X, we don't have the resources to get it done and I don't have capacity to coordinate Partner: You need to make this work, we have to deliver this to the client Me: this is out of our original scope, and I do not have capacity. If this needs to get done, can you please find another resource, I can KT so they can take over Partner: there is no other resource, you need to make this work, saying no would have too much political fallout and we can't make waves. Just get it done. We need to get this extra thing done so we can end the project and you can actually roll off, and this is just a small thing they say they need that won't take long. ~~~ Partner today, after committing me to more work on a call with the client right before: oh there's barely any work left, she'll be 100% on your project soon, she just needs to say no when they ask for extra stuff. Sometimes Partners are just shitty, guys.

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What do you think would happen if you had a 1:1 with the partner to reflect back that contradiction as you’re understanding it? “Jim, I wanted to follow up on our conversation the other day and seek your advice on prioritization. When I pushed back on client request X, you suggested that I go ahead and do it to avoid making waves with the client. However in our call with Bob, you suggested that I ought to say no more. How would you recommend I handle situations like client request X in the future, given this latest guidance?”

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Agree that it’s most useful as a piece of leverage / CYA for the future, especially if documented :)

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