Saying no can be a real challenge. And this little two-letter word fills us with fear and anxiety. So, we tend to avoid it altogether and just say yes all the time. But this is how we burn ourselves out – especially at work. So, if you want to be more successful at work, it might be a good idea to start saying no more often.

In a Marie TV episode entitled, The Ultimate Guide to Saying No, self-help expert, Marie Forleo shares a powerful Warren Buffet quote that goes something like this,  “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

But that seems to go against everything we women do in the workplace – where we’re expected to be compliant and cooperative.

However, Forleo insists that not only is it okay for you to say no more often, but that as long as you do it with kindness, class and compassion, your life can get a whole lot better – including your work life.

So, the next time you want and/or need to say no to your boss, or a collaborative partner, or to anyone in a position of authority, here are Forleo’s top tips:

When you don’t have the time, say:

I hear how important this is. Can we take a look at my current priorities together? Because there’s a lot in motion right now, and I want everything to be done right. So I’ll either have to press pause on other projects, or we’ll ned to find someone else to take this on.

When you don’t agree with what’s being asked, say:

I don’t feel right about this strategy and I don’t think we should move ahead. Are you open to another perspective? I”d love to show you an alternative that I think will be way more effective and leave our customers happier.

It’s perfectly alright to say no, as long as you can explain your reasons with facts. What’s more, saying no gets a whole lot easier when you have a smart alternative to offer.

No might be a complete sentence, but as Forleo concludes, “a few more words can make it a kind one.”