On Saying ‘No’: the Art and Magic of Declining

Last week, working with such an inspiring bunch of PhD students, I found myself practicing ‘saying no’ with these wonderful scholars: “Let’s just practice saying ‘No’. One, two, three: ‘No.’ One, two, three: ‘No’. One more time, one, two…, three… ‘No!'” Their faces lit up. Saying ‘No!’, very obviously, was fun. We said it loud and proud and with such joy. And let’s face it. The importance of knowing how to say ‘no’ cannot be overstated in an academic career.

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Our inboxes: why academic ‘suffering’ needs accepting, not fixing…

Have you ever felt like you were ‘bracing before impact’ the moment you decided you should be opening your inbox? Maybe you were* dreading the people who expected to hear back from you. At other times, you may have felt nervous because you were expecting a peer review or a response to an application for research funding. If your experiences resemble mine then you know that the phrasing in those emails can affect your day (to put it mildly)…

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