I have written on this subject, and with all that is transpiring in today’s environment, news and our personal lives, it seems appropriate to stress again. When I work with clients on time strategies, we talk about rule #1, which is, “Say no, shut up and don’t apologize”.
Allowing others to impose their urgency on your schedule is a sure fire way to derail productivity and purpose. As a caring person, it is difficult to say no to someone in response to a request to volunteer your time, for a donation, or any of a myriad of requests that you receive each week. Yet, each time you allow others to commandeer your time, you negate your own goals.
Most of us generally want to help others. We don’t like rejection or criticism so that influences how and what we communicate to others, even if that request feels wrong or the approach of a stranger makes us feel threatened. No is a complete sentence when a stranger approaches you. Do not utter another word and don’t diminish your power by explaining why you said no.
Knowing when to say no may be as important as knowing when no doesn’t mean the end of the conversation. If you are making a sales call and the prospect says no, that is a good time to explore with them why they said no and do some root cause analysis with them to determine if you can help solve their challenges.
Stop right now and think about all the “hats” you wear. Parent, spouse, boss, follower, PTA parent, little league coach, Church Deacon, sibling, Rotarian, and candidate for volunteer of the year….or a stroke. Are you getting the satisfaction that first motivated from all those roles? If you are honest, I’d bet the answer is no.
So what to do? Say no to that which distracts you from achieving your dreams. Say no to that which takes you away from your family. Say no to that which interferes with your career.
When working with a coaching client, I would not ask, “Are you moving towards what you want”? That elicits a “no” making the conversation difficult to restart. I phrase the question as, “Are you moving towards what you want or away from what you don’t want”? The client will pause to think and rarely reply with “no”.
If I ask, “Do you know where you’re going in 5 years”? You may reply no; however, that is the anticipated reply I get from everyone so I am prepared to go on with why you are failing to reach your goals.
Learn to say “no” without explaining yourself. Take control of your time and begin anew to accomplish your own goals. “No” is a complete sentence