Saturday, June 9, 2012

Say No to 'Not Saying No'

1st step: Ask, why you don't say 'no'?. [pic]

How often do you say 'Yes' when you really mean 'No'? Are you doing so at the expense of yourself?

I guess these could be some of your reasons:

  • You want to please.
  • You don't like conflicts.
  • You see 'saying-no' as being rude.
  • You don't want someone to think less of you.
  • You want to help.
  • You hate to disappoint.
  • You fear losing the opportunity.

2nd step: Say, "It's OK to say 'no'". [pic]

You need to change your mindset about agreeing to everything. Saying 'no' is about respecting your own time and space. Saying 'no' won't get you into trouble but the way you say it might.

When should you say 'no?

1. When your plate is too full

You do not want to tip the balance. If you keep accepting one task after another, you are going to start showing your inability to do your best.  Stretching yourself too thin is not good for yourself and those you intend to help.

2. When it is against your value or belief

You are not obliged to help every other cause on earth. Others don't expect you to do so too.

3. When you are not in the position to help

Give the matter a fair assessment. You may not be the best person to accept the task. Be ready to say 'no' and help the requester by giving alternatives.

3rd step: When to say 'no'. [pic]

Dos and don'ts

1. Do not feel guilty

Think of it as doing yourself and others a favor. Taking on too much and not doing your best is not a responsible act. If you decline to donate to a cause you do not support, others can understand. Surely you have the right to decide what to do with your time and money.

2. Be honest

Out of desperation, you may be tempted to come up with excuses. Don't! You may call them 'white lies' but lies are lies. Besides, your ill-designed excuses may land you in trouble if it is later found out that they are untrue.

3. Be polite

Saying 'no' does not mean being hostile. Say it sincerely and thank the requester for considering your involvement.

4th step: How to say 'no'. [pic]

4. Offer alternatives

You may not be the only person who can execute the task. Consider someone else who can benefit from the additional exposure. Check with him or her and if it is appropriate, suggest their names as alternatives.

5. Be persistent

Some requesters do not take 'no' for an answer. You would need to stay firm towards such unreasonable behaviors. If you do not draw your own boundary, you can't blame others for encroaching on your space.

6. Give yourself time

When an immediate answer is not required, allow yourself some time to consider the matter before you decline. When you eventually say 'no', the initial impact on the requester would have been much cushioned.

5th step: Don't abuse your right to say 'no'. [pic]

Finally, saying 'no' doesn't mean not saying 'yes'. Don't make 'saying-no' a habit and use it to wriggle out of situations you ought to face. If you say 'no' because you procrastinate, you are missing the point.

Be genuine. You want to do your best at all times. Saying 'no' is not a strategy to skive.

Let's sum it up in 5 steps:
1. Find out why you don't say 'no'.
2. Tell yourself it is OK to say 'no'.
3. Know when to say 'no'.
4. Learn how to say 'no.
5. Don't abuse your right to say 'no'.

Related articles:
"Don't be a People Pleaser".

"Don't raise your voice; improve your argument." (Desmond Tutu)

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