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No, No, a Thousand Times No!

Learning to say “No” may be the most important thing you’ve ever done.

By
Stever Robbins,
August 13, 2013
Episode #278

Page 2 of 2

If you’re going to say No to your boss about working weekends, your boss can yell at you in a way that would be considered criminal verbal assault if it were done anywhere other than the workplace. Your boss can also fire you. Your boss can also threaten to publish those pictures from the office holiday party on Facebook. Your friends would all see you wearing the furry rabbit ears, and your “hip” factor would be irreparably damaged. Those are all real possibilities.  

Knowing where they’re coming from, do you still want to say No? Do you have the power to say No? And do you have the right to say No?

Lastly, before you commit, ask yourself: Knowing where they’re coming from, do you still want to say No? Do you have the power to say No? And do you have the right to say No? (After all, if you signed a contract saying you would work weekends, you may not have the right to refuse.)

Then, say No. Say it in a straightforward, neutral tone. To hear a superb example of Byron Katie saying No, check out my earlier episode, Saying No to Difficult Requests.

Step #3: Say YES to Them

Of course, you don’t want an enemy. In fact, you’d prefer them to become your willing mind-slave. Just as you’re stabbing them in the emotional heart with your No, make an offer of a future Yes that will preserve the relationship. You can change the timing, offer new alternatives, or even propose an “if...then.” 

Bernice could offer the following as consolation: “Let’s put the game consoles on the tables after the wedding reception is over, for anyone who’s still too intoxicated to drive home safely.” That’s a change of timing. “Let’s give everyone a getting-to-know-you game, to be fun and help them meet new people?” That’s a new alternative. Or “If we turn the game consoles off during the meal, we can put them on the table.” That’s an “if...then.” Bernice just read that idea over my shoulder. She informs me that she will not be offering the “if...then” option.

Bernice connected to her YES, aka her desire to have guests interact with each other. She gently told Melvin No, he could not have video games on the table. Then she offered her plan B as a future yes: limited video games in the side room. Melvin cheerfully agreed, and now they’re talking about flower arrangements.

Melvin just looked at me and winked. He’s perfectly content with video games in the side room. He knows just how Bernice thinks. This is going to be an interesting relationship, no?

This is Stever Robbins. I partner with a few highly successful people to help them do extraordinary things in their work and lives. If you want to know more, visit http://www.SteverRobbins.com.

Work Less, Do More, and have a Great Life!

Yes-No image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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