Just say No! Isn't that the anti-drug campaign? Sometimes we all need to remember to say no. To turn off that instinct to always be agreeable. To stop thinking that if you turn down an opportunity, it will be the last opportunuty that ever comes your way. As I type and then read what I have just typed, I can see how silly it is to think that turning down an opportunity means you will never get another opportunity again. Yet, sometimes I go through just that thought process.
It happened again last week. I know I am currently at maximum capacity, yet I received an opportunity to work with a nice group of people. I could do it if I worked the two weekends before hand to prepare new training materials and then if they agreed to have a six hour session instead of an eight hour session I would have time to drive to my evening appointment forty miles away.... NO! The answer here is no.
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, it will help you develop clarity about your intentions and it really sets you free.
First, what is a false yes? The false yes is the response you make when
you really want to say no. But somewhere in your head a little voice tells
you, ‘You really should take this assignment, it is nice that your colleague has thought of you and if you turn it down you might not be asked again.'
Or ‘You really should take this job offer; it is a good salary, good benefits and a respected corporation.’
The problem could be that taking that assignment will overbook you to the brink of exhaustion, in which case you will not do your best work and that could lead to you not being asked back again. If you say yes to the wrong job offer, the truth is you will never be fully committed to a job that is just OK.
Saying no develops clarity if you acknowledge why you want to say no and what would turn the no to a yes. If you are truly overbooked, say so. Perhaps next time your colleague will ask you earlier, to ensure that you are available. If you do not want to take a certain job, you can say why. You may or may not receive an updated job offer, but at least you have communicated what the right job offer would be.
Saying no can lead to some very positive results.