There are just those times that you need to say “no” and it is probably the one word that makes us feel incredibly uncomfortable. The truth is, we love to help people and for some of us we may also have that part of us that just loves to please people too. The combination of wanting to please others and the fact that there were ramifications for us when we said “no” when we were two years old may explain a little of the reason that we struggle with “no” as much as we struggle with “yes”. Nevertheless, how do we say no to people in a way that let’s us feel better about it and also, allows others to get the support that they need. Well, we propose the option of “No, and…”.
The truth is, when we say no to one thing we are saying yes to something else. However, we don’t always see it that way and especially when it comes to saying no to others at work. Some people think that saying no at work isn’t even a possibility and make it a referendum for being a team-player. But, being a team player also means that you find ways to keep yourself on track to complete the real tasks that your team need and expect of you. So, being able to say no is the first step. However, the second step that can allow us to really continue to let things move in the right direction is adding the word “and” onto that no. It can sound like this; “no, I can’t be at the meeting and I can see if Jim can attend on our departments behalf.” Simple right? Of course it is.
But, let us know how you experience saying no. Is it easy for you? Do you just keep saying yes? And, once you say no, what would make it a yes?