CHAPTER 7

Nine Practices to Help You Say No

by Peter Bregman

Irene (name and some details changed) is a great colleague. A senior manager in a large consulting firm, she pitches in when the workload gets heavy, covers for people when they’re sick, and stays late when needed, which is often.

She’s also a leader, serving on boards and raising money at charity auctions. She tries to be home for her kids at dinner time, but often works into the night after they’ve gone to sleep. That is, on nights when she’s not at a business dinner.

But if you catch her in a moment of honesty, you’ll find out that she doesn’t feel so great. In fact, she’s exhausted.

Irene can’t say no. And because she can’t say no, she’s spending her very limited time and already ...

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