The Power of a Graceful “No”

  • by Pat
  • 2 Months ago
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Learn to say no

Have you ever said “yes” when you wanted to say “no” just to avoid conflict or friction?  Have you ever felt too scared or timid to turn down a request from a boss, colleague, friend, neighbor, or family member for fear of disappointing them?  If you have, you’re not alone.

You know the adage “If you want something done, ask a busy person.”  Well, that’s all fine and good unless YOU are the busy person!

Learning how to say “no” can be a life-saver.  Most of the professional women I coach when they come to me are completely overwhelmed simply because they don’t know how – or aren’t willing – to say no to requests on their time.  They are committing to much more than they can reasonably accomplish.  Learning how to say “no” can be a life-saver.  Here are 3 tips I give them:

The Pause:  Whenever someone makes a request of you, count to 3 before answering.  Before you say yes, think about whether or not you can actually deliver on the commitment you’d be making without crowding out other commitments or leaving yourself burning the midnight oil.  If a ‘yes’ would put you over the line, let the requester know and respectfully decline.  Learn the slow “yes” and the quick “no”!

“Let me check my calendar and get back to you”.  This statement gives you the time to pause and reflect; to take back control of your decisions rather than being rushed into a yes whenever asked.

Say, “Yes.  What should I deprioritize?”  Saying no to a senior leader at work is almost unthinkable, even laughable, for many people.  However, if saying “Yes” is going to compromise your ability to make the highest contribution to your work, it is also your obligation.  So even if the requester is your boss, you can still say a version of no.  Try something like this “I would want to do a great job, and given my other commitments, I wouldn’t be able to do a job I was proud of.  Then possibly add “which of these other projects should I deprioritize get this done for you on-time and accurate?”

The bottom line is this – in order to prioritize the many demands on your time, you have to be crystal clear on what is important to you.  Once you do, it will be easier to say no as it will leave room in your day, and in your life, for you to say “Yes” to the things that do.

If you would like to do a deeper dive into saying No so you can live your life with less guilt and more joy contact me to set up a Breakthrough Session.

Whatever your Goal or Dream…WE Can make it Happen!  Contact me to find out how!

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