Learn to say no 10 different ways

Soft SkillsNo.

Don’t be afraid. Go ahead and say it. You won’t hurt anything. Learn to say no.

“No” is very often the sign of a wise manager.

It turns out some people are actually addicted to saying “yes.”

At least that’s what workplace psychologists say.

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The way it works is some people get such an emotional lift from just the very idea of being asked to be included in some activity; from being looked on favorably and appreciated; from being able to fulfill another’s needs, that the endorphins start flowing the moment a request is made of them, and the “yes” comes flying out of their mouths compulsively, long before they’ve considered the consequences.

(Now, there are degrees of this and a purist might argue that it’s more a dependency than an addiction, but let’s not split hairs.)

And there are those who say “yes” because they don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. Ugh.

This is where the wise adage “Say no to the task, not the person” becomes so valuable.

Saying “no” can mean many things.

Here are 10 things “no” means, courtesy of business blogger Seth Godin.

What ‘no’ means

  • I’m too busy
  • I don’t trust you
  • This isn’t on my list
  • My boss won’t let me
  • I’m afraid of moving this forward
  • I’m not the person you think I am
  • I don’t have the resources you think I do
  • I’m not the kind of person that does things like this
  • I don’t want to open the door to a long-term engagement
  • Thinking about this will cause me to think about other things I just don’t want to deal with

What it doesn’t mean

  • I see the world the way you do, I’ve carefully considered every element of this proposal and understand it as well as you do and I hate it and I hate you.

There, that’s the kind of wisdom that can set you free. Now, have at it. Say no.

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