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Refusing a request

As a supervisor, you will occasionally find yourself in a situation where you have to refuse a subordinate’s request. If this situation should arise, be gentle but clear with your answer. If there is a possibility that your answer might change in the future, let the subordinate know the information and the details of what could cause your answer to change. This information can help your subordinate prepare for a second proposal should the situation change. However, if there is no possibility of your answer changing, be clear when explaining this decision to avoid promoting false hope. Give your subordinates reasons why you have to refuse their requests, and if appropriate, offer alternative solutions. It is important to emphasize the positive aspects of a subordinate's request because you do not want to stifle communication between yourself and your subordinates.


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