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The Art of saying “NO”

11 Sep

Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me…….

The article was written by Susheel & MunnaPrawin….  

“No” is a simple, two letter word that can save you time, energy and precious resources when you know when and how to use it purposefully at correct time, in a correct way with the right people.

Inability to say “No” can bring a lot of harm. Being assertive is one of the toughest things for many people.  Saying no is indeed a major challenge for most people. I am telling this with my personal experience.

From last 15 years, I said yes to 95% of invites and pleas for help, regardless of how much I already had on my plate. I used to say … I’ll do it. I can help no problem. I am there for you.  Don’t worry..Sure, why not? I used to schedule things back to back to back and I used to drive myself crazy fitting it all in.

I began to feel anxious and tired instead of feeling joy as I approached the weekend. That simply would not do. Re-evaluation was in order.

That is why I am sure everyone mustn’t hesitate to say “No” in appropriate situation.

 We say ‘Yes’ when we really want to say ‘No’. We all do it very often.

Here are few situations:

A corporate person says” It was a party meeting, I couldn’t say no when the delegates forced me to take alcohol and puff the cigar.”

A college going student says “I used bear the physical harassment by my faculty, because I have fear of losing marks.”

A bride says” I was proposed to the one whom I am not interested but I don’t want to trouble my parents.”

A lover says “my girlfriend is need of money but I have no single pie to help her. If I say it may hurt our relationship so somehow I need to sort out this problem.”

A lady says “I get upset over certain topics to discuss but when I am subjected with the people I couldn’t say to excuse me from the discussion.”

An UN-matured girl says “I got into physical relationship with my boyfriend, because I have fear of losing his care, love.”

A person says “I know in long run my ‘yes’ results a failure but I don’t want to hurt then now so I couldn’t say ‘no’.”

An employee says “my boss expects me provide every time the resources which is my hard earned effort and dwindling time. It cause me inconvenience but I fear to say that I can’t provide”

A friend says “I am already full with my important schedules but my friend want to me to join his party .I don’t want to disappoint him. So, I couldn’t say that I cannot attend his party.”
“No” is a word that can save you time, energy and precious resources when you know when and how to use it purposefully. But many people like me have a difficult time saying “no” because they sincerely want to help and don’t want to disappoint others. So they take on more than they can handle, compromising the quality of performance, neglecting their own priorities, and burying themselves under mountains of responsibilities, tasks and activities that will never lead to their ultimate vision. That’s why it’s important to know when to say “no” – so rather than react to other’s demands, you respond based on your values and priorities.

I pride myself on being productive and extremely efficient all these years, maximizing my time. But even I know it’s impossible to do all of those things and say yes to all invites too. I can’t say yes to everything anymore I don’t want to.  I can’t do anything as I done in past. I’d rather just say I’m sorry, I can’t. It’s just that simple.

One of the biggest reasons people have a difficult time saying “no” is because they haven’t clarified their own intention; other people’s goals become more important than their own in the absence of a specific vision.

Learning to say “no” to non-essential tasks creates a path to freedom and success. It will clear your schedule of mental clutter so you can harness your life force and focus your attention on the realization of your goals. Having a clear vision and a strong sense of purpose gives you the discernment to know which actions yield the greatest return on investment for your time, energy and resources.

But requests for your time are coming in all the time — it can be through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

For most of us, having to say ‘no’ somehow feels like a rejection, so we hate to do it. Instead, too many people just say ‘yes,’ and regret it afterward. So here are some tips that I have accumulated over the years that can help you say the right thing the right way:

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

Maybe you’re like me and you need to cut down on some of the activities you do. Well, here are a few tips on how you can do that:

 

Give yourself time to think. Before responding with an enthusiastic ‘yes’ that you never meant, or a cryptic ‘no’ that will ruin a relationship, ask for time to mull it over. It’s acceptable business practice to say that you need to check your calendar first, or pass the request by other principles before deciding. Commit a date for the final decision.

Make the ‘no’ a function of your constraints. Emphasize that the rejection has more to do with your priorities, budget limitations, and workload, rather than any inherent flaw in their request. In this context, encourage a return discussion as some specific point in the future, or with some specific variation.

Be logical, calm, and concise. Choose your words wisely to avoid conflict and a defensive or emotional reaction, but make sure the answer is clear and understood.

Be firm — not defensive or overly apologetic — and polite. This gives the signal that you       are sympathetic, but will not easily change your mind if pressured.

Explicitly evaluate the pros and cons. First, make sure you understand the full implications of a simple yes or no response. Every ‘no’ answer reduces the likelihood of another opportunity along the same lines, while every ‘yes’ answer increases your workload and the probability of burnout on your long list of critical items.

  Make sure you’re actually saying “no”. Make no mistake about it, no is a powerful word that you should not be afraid to wield. When it’s time to say no, you need to avoid phrases like “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” Using limp phrases instead of saying no will often be considered a yes. When it’s time to say no, just say no!

Listen to your gut. Sometimes we say ‘yes’ because we love the excitement of a new idea, when our instinct is telling us that it implies many complex issues that we are not prepared to deal with right now. It’s a fact that our brain often stores relevant information that we might not be able to vocalize right now. Trust your judgment.

Negotiate a return consideration. Often people asking for favors don’t realize or consider the cost, so you shouldn’t hesitate to ask for a reciprocal favor. It may make that person re-think their need for your help, or you may actually get more than you give.

Sandwich the no between two yeses. Sandwiching a no between two yeses ensures that your no will be more palatable. It’s also a great way to explain that to which you are already committed. For example, if your boss asks you to work on the weekend, but you have family commitments you cannot break, explain these commitments to your boss (the first yes), how that prevents you from coming in on the weekend (the no), and finish by confirming your commitment to the company and your work (the final yes) by asking if there are other ways you can contribute that don’t require you to come in that weekend. 

Be prepared to repeat yourself. If you say no and the other party pushes back, the best thing you can do is repeat yourself. This is much easier to do when you recognize beforehand that it is often necessary. In some cases, you may have to repeat yourself more than once. If you offered any explanation with your original response, you can repeat this explanation or just say no again. Don’t back yourself into a corner by trying to explain yourself further.

Lead with positives when saying no. Mute the sting of rejection by rewarding the person for being aggressive and creative, while not directly accepting the contract or proposal. It may even be appropriate to give some reward, such as access to an alternative opportunity, or recognition in front of peers, to encourage the source.

Pick the right time and place. Pick the least stressful time of the day, or a private place where you can talk sincerely, and give full attention to any questions or discussion. Watch your body language and tone to eliminate the guilt and fear that often make the ‘no’ response harder on the sender than the receiver.

Remember that there are only few hours in the day. This means that whatever you choose to take on limits your ability to do other things. So even if you somehow can fit a new commitment into your schedule, if it’s not more important than what you would have to give up doing it, you really don’t have the time in your schedule.

“The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes, to the things where you want to say “NO”. It is very easy to say yes.”

People have learned the art of asking, so you need to learn the art of saying ‘no.’ Rid yourself of the fallacy that you must say ‘yes’ to be viewed as a leader. If the request presents a moral dilemma to you, your code of ethics should allow you to refuse, rather than lie to the other party, or agree to something you can’t deliver. Just say ‘no,’ and smile as you say it.

No is not always negative. It is not a bad or incorrect response. Saying no does not make you a difficult or uncooperative person.  Read that again, out loud. Saying no is more honest than a false yes.

Learn the Art to say “NO”…. 

 

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, you experienced , you came across in your life in the comments below.

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2012 in Life & It's Importance

 

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