The art of saying "no"

Do you struggle with setting professional boundaries and limiting how much work you commit to accomplish? From psychological barriers to lacking technical skills, there are many reasons why it can be difficult to say "no" when we feel a lot of pressure to say "yes." Learn how to identify your personal barriers to saying "no." Discover the pinch points you may need to overcome, and phrases that can help you create better boundaries and a more balanced workload – and ultimately say "yes" to life outside of work. 

This session originally was presented at the 2021 Veterinary Leadership Conference. 

Participants can expect to learn about:

  • Personal barriers to saying “no” 
  • Pinch points to overcome in setting better boundaries
  • Phrases to use to help you say “no” when needed

As a member of their program leadership team, Makenzie Peterson serves as the Director for Wellbeing at the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC). She works to advance AAVMC’s strategic goal of fostering a culture of wellbeing throughout academic veterinary medicine by promoting preventative systems-based initiatives. Makenzie provides subject-matter expertise on the science and application of evidence-based wellbeing practices, as well as the development and implementation of strategic organizational changes to improve the overall wellbeing of academic communities. She speaks on a variety of wellbeing-related topics across the profession to drive positive change. 

Makenzie Peterson’s previous roles included being a health specialist for a joint MIT/Harvard-sponsored start-up located in Harvard Business School’s Innovation Lab focused on educating college students on health topics, and at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine as their first Wellbeing Program Director creating community wellbeing initiatives for students, staff, and faculty. She served on the Wellbeing Committee for the New York State Veterinary Medical Society, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative. 

Born and raised in Alaska, Makenzie graduated from the University of Utah with a master’s degree in Health Promotion & Health Education and will complete her Doctorate of Social Work from the University of Southern California in 2022.