Learning to say ‘no’ in academic life

A really interesting reflection by Stuart Elden, editor of Progressive Geographies, about the challenge of saying ‘no’ to requests and invitations. There’s a lot here that people at a much earlier stage in their career can learn from. My own experience has been that beginning to get invitations to do stuff is so flattering that it’s easy to say ‘yes’ to things that you don’t actually want to do, or are not in a position to be able to do. Read Stuart’s post in full here:

When I was recently away, I came back to a lot of requests and I needed to say ‘no’ to most of them. Now I’m on sabbatical and trying to focus on writing, I’m being as focused as I can be (see my self-imposed rules, here). It is a never-ending task to consider all such requests, to work out which I can do and which I can’t, and then to say ‘no’ to some in as nice a way as possible. For me at least, a non-reply is not an option.


Categories: Higher Education, Sociological Craft

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