Episode #27 How To Say No

How do you say no to a client without sabotaging your career? Or to a loved one without damaging the relationship?

Whether you’re planning a family or already a working parent, saying no is one of the most important tools in your Balance Toolkit. The demands and requests others make or expect of you will far exceed your capacity to fulfil them. If you can’t say no, you risk overwhelm, stress, exhaustion and even your mental health.

But you already know this. You know you need to say no if you want to set better boundaries. The question is, how do you actually do it? How do you say no without fear of sabotaging your career or harming your relationships?

If you can relate to the above, you’re not alone. So many of my clients know they need to set clearer boundaries, but they’re held back by negative beliefs about saying no and a fear of the consequences. That’s why I dedicate a whole month to the topic of Boundaries in the Babyproof Career Coaching Programme, and I share very practical advice on how to say no without sabotaging your career or relationships.

This week I’m excited to share this practical advice with you, including these different types of no you can use to set better boundaries at work and at home:

  • The Unconditional No
  • The Compassionate No
  • The Helpful No
  • The Concrete No
  • The Non-negotiable No

The most important message for you to take away is that saying no is not the issue. The issue is how you say it, and what you make it mean.

Tune in now for powerful practical advice on how to say no.


Caroline did a fantastic job as the guest speaker at our latest Women with Ambition networking event: 'How to ensure kids don’t derail your career'. Caroline’s talk was engaging and insightful and feedback from our clients that attended was overwhelmingly positive. All of the delegates mentioned they had gained some sound advice from Caroline’s presentation, regardless of whether they were thinking about having children, were already parents or were managing individuals with family commitments. Caroline has been a pleasure to work with and I look forward to continuing to develop our working relationship in the future. I would highly recommend working with her.

Sally Clare, Head of Diversity, Ambition UK

Caroline came to speak to our Balance Employee Network about “How to babyproof your career so you can balance your life”. I really enjoyed preparing this event together. Caroline took great care in understanding the needs of the audience to make her message even more powerful. The whole process from preparing the event invitation to getting feedback was very professional with a wonderful personal touch.

Louise Walewska, Presentation Client, HSBC Asset Management

Caroline, I can’t thank you enough for the help you gave me while starting to think of family planning. Your level-headed approach to some of the things I was panicking about has put everything into perspective. Not to mention that talking through and planning how to run my company single-handedly with a child was invaluable. I really appreciate having the after-session documents to work through in my own time and have been referring to them frequently. I cannot recommend a Babyproof Your Life session highly enough when starting to think about children – everyone should do this! Many thanks again.

Client T, UK, Babyproof Client

I wanted to let you know that I have been promoted to counsel. Thanks very much to your coaching I have managed to get through one of the most challenging years of my career and managed to achieve what I had hoped to! I might not have made it were it not for your advice and guidance.

Client C, Solicitor

I am more than happy to share wonderful feedback about you. Working with you has been life changing and continues to inspire me and help me grow.

Coaching client, Director, PwC Legal

When I came into the office the following Monday, I could see the effect that you’d had. People were visibly changed as a result of your talk.

Oli Holmes, Accenture