March 1

The Power of No


How many times have you committed to something, when deep down you know you should say ‘No’?

Whether it be saying ‘No’ to an appointment that isn’t going to add value to either party, ‘No’ to taking on a piece of work that you haven’t got time to deliver or ‘No’ to a simple to do when your day is already jam packed, these two simple letters when put together seem to cripple the best of us.

“No may be the most powerful word in the language, but it’s also potentially the most destructive, which is why it’s hard to say,” says William Ury, director of the Global Negotiation Project at Harvard University.

Any why?

Is it our innate desire to please? A need to feel wanted? Or simply an inability to say ‘No’ out of concern for someone else’s feelings?

Ury goes on to explain that ‘No’ is hard to say because it creates the “tension between exercising your power and tending to your relationship”.

Whatever it may be the reality is that saying ‘Yes’ to too many requests creates stress, tension and will ultimately compromise quality.  Too many ‘Yes’s’ adds to mental clutter, clouds thinking and challenges the ability to think clearly and rationally.  Delivery of major goals and milestones is delayed;  stepping forward in achieving your vision moves into 1st gear instead of 5th gear.  Who suffers?  You.

Darren Hardy explains ‘When it comes to comparing super achievers and everyone else, it has less to do with what they do and more to do with what they don’t do.”

Trust your instinct.  Listen to that internal voice and focus on your ultimate goals.

Start saying ‘No’ based on your values, priorities and goals.

Start saying YES to your own interests, beliefs and opinions.

Take control.


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