Saying NO is a lot harder than YES and many of us know this. But why?
Saying yes means you will commit to something, even if you don’t want to or can’t do it.
So why is it so hard to say no?
It might just be in your personality — maybe you are built on natural positivity.
Maybe you like to please, or you don’t want to be seen as difficult.
Or maybe you’re worried it will make you less of a team player if you say no, you’re concerned it may show weakness in your ability or you really don’t want to let someone down.
You feel like people are counting on you. But what if your YES falls into the wrong hands?
In the last 16 years of doing business and being a strategic business consultant, I have seen it all.
I have seen bosses blackmailing their employees with sad stories of having to work far more hours or more than their expected pay grade.
I have seen owners that have failed to empower their staff because they always said YES to the budget, to project or a task and wanted to learn how to do something on their own.
I coached a woman who couldn’t say no to any task in the name of proving her worth and climbing the ladder, but this worked against her. It didn’t take her long to realise that she was quickly burnt out from being overworked and underpaid.
One of the worst YES scenarios is when a supplier pitches to you and you don’t know how to tell them NO and they walk away thinking they’ve got the job because you thought that saying no would be crueler than letting them down gently and honestly.
So, how do you say NO without feeling sick in the guts:
- Before saying yes to a task — ensure you fully understand it. Don’t give an answer on the spot and explain the process you need to take, and then you give the answer.
- If you need to let someone down that potentially could lose your business — give them the honest reason. If their proposition was lacking, tell them why. They can learn something from their experience with you and they might better their proposition in the future. Don’t lead them on!
- If your relationship failed because you said NO for the first time, it wasn’t real to begin with, so letting them down is a duty of care to yourself, don’t lose sleep over it.
- Explain that you want to be part of a team but doing it all yourself makes it a very small team, be fair but firm.
- If people are counting on you but your load is already full. Say NO but follow with an explanation with what you already doing, they might not be aware of it.
- If the boss asking for more but not giving the remuneration, say YES followed by at $x cost because this is one of the most common and toxic situations where the more you say YES to this one, the less you are going to earn and it will be the quickest way to burn yourself for someone who isn’t worth you burning out for.
So, saying NO is not easy. But once you start practicing, you will find how liberating this process is and actually much more you’ll achieve when you say it.
Find out what you can achieve through an hour of power with Oshi here.