Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Yes, you can say No

This comes up time and time again in my workshops, with my coaching/mentoring clients and even with my friends. So I wanted to clarify this.

It is OK to say No.

You may not feel that way, you may feel that if you don't do it no one else will. Or maybe you can't say No because you "should" say Yes. You have a rule that family members, friends, colleagues, bosses, workers "SHOULD" perform in a certain way.

From my own bitter experience, I have found out that saying Yes all the time is great for everyone else, but really bad for me! They get everything they want and I get exhausted and resentfull. But the really kicker is that they want you to say No. They may not think it, but they do.

Your boss will continue to ask you to do things and when you are at full capacity, they want you to say no. Your friends will keep asking for favours and expect that if you can't do it, that you say no. It may not seem it at the time but they would much prefer you to say No up front than get to their deadline and have you inform them that because you have too much on that you couldn't do it. Your family would much prefer you say that you don't want to go along to the family trip versus whinging and moaning about it for months afterwards.

Yes, the short term is painful. Letting people know that you can't or won't do, say or be what they want is challenging. But the long term payoff is so worthwhile. Once you have established the boundaries of what you will and won't do, each party has a far better understanding of each other. Their are fewer assumptions and expectations and fewer opportunities for mixed messages.

So start practicing today! What do you need to say no to it? How can you say no respectfully and with care? Maybe you could start with smaller things and work your way up once your No muscle has had a bit of a workout?

But don't forget to practice the otherside of the equation also!! If someone says No to you, don't hassle them or berate them. Allow them the courtesy of saying what they need to for them. As we know, saying No is not always easy, but it is always worthwhile.


Warwick Merry
The Get More Guy

1 comment:

LifeCoachKaren said...

Love the reminder, the permission to say "No." And, to be aware of the "shoulds". For me, it also reminds me that we have the choice to set and maintain (personal) boundaries. Saying "no" is a way to reinforce these boundaries - cause we can say "No" nicely, and firmly. :~)