Effectively Saying “NO”

In all the years I’ve been operating my own business (since 1997) one thing that’s been a consistent challenge for my coaching clients and audiences is saying no. I recently presented an updated program on Boundary-Setting and, of course, once again we tackled the issues around saying no. As a result, I’ve revised an article I was working on so that I can share it with audience members. Here I share part of it with you. If you’d like the complete article, please email me at natalie@theprioritypro.com and ask for the “Saying No” article.

Saying “no” enables you to say “yes” to what matters most in your life.

“No” is one the most powerful two-letter words in the English language! However, saying “no” doesn’t come naturally for most people. We are conditioned to say “yes”, be agreeable and easy to work with.

If you’re one of those people who normally says “yes” when asked to do something or take responsibility for a new work project, sit on another school or church committee, become scout leader, be the baseball coach, or bake cookies for the local fundraiser or anything that will likely require more time than you realistically have available, than you need to first understand why you are prone to say yes so quickly and then learn more effective ways to say no.

We typically say yes because we:
…are afraid to say no;
…want to be liked;
…need to feel accepted;
…desire to please others;
…don’t want to hurt someone else’s feelings;
…feel guilty when we say no;
…believe we can “do it all”.

If any of the reasons above describe you, saying no will undoubtedly make you feel uncomfortable or inadequate. There may be other reasons in addition to those listed, so be sure to recognize what prompts you to say yes, or avoid saying no. When you begin feeling totally overwhelmed, exhausted, resentful, and taken advantage of your attitude and productivity will likely suffer. If your life is overrun with responsibilities, jobs and commitments there’s little time left for your own tasks, fun and relaxation. One way to pare down your schedule is to get good at saying no to new commitments.

If you want more than ten super techniques to help you say no, remember to email me at natalie@theprioritypro.com!

Saying no helps reduce stress levels and gives you time for what’s really important. Even though it may be difficult, at some point you need to stand your own ground and look out for yourself, because no one else is going to look out for you if you don’t! Regardless of why you choose to say no, the keys to declining requests include:
+ maintain eye contact;
+ be firm, honest direct and convincing;
+ keep your explanation simple and succinct;
+ use a sympathetic but firm tone;
+ repeat your statement, change the subject or walk away, if necessary;
+ and, avoid making excuses (especially lengthy ones!).

Set Better Boundaries

At a presentation I did this week for Novartis Consumer Products, I helped the participants recognize where their boundaries are weak or non-existent. Establishing boundaries empowers you to create more self-respect as well as respect from others.

Sometimes boundaries are hard to set with others because we want to be liked, be considered open and friendly, and we fear repercussions. However, people who fail to set and maintain boundaries in their life and work often find that it’s much harder to meet their own needs, and to prevent others from imposing their needs onto them.

Send for a free article: Establishing Boundaries that Honor You by sending an email to natalie@theprioritypro.com. Please indicate Boundaries in the subject line.

Untie from Technology

Those who are tied to their technology so that they can respond immediately to anyone reaching out to them need to better understand what this behavior is costing them…

Are you someone who almost always immediately replies to every phone call, text message or email so that you can demonstrate just how committed you are to your work and family? Do you often provide an immediate response for work-related items while getting around to family, friends and personal matters when you have the chance? Or, do you respond immediately to your family while putting off work-related contacts?

Having the habit of responding immediately, whether for everyone, or for just work or personal matters is unhealthy. Many are fooled to believe that when they respond immediately to work-related matters they are demonstrating their commitment to their job. However, are they? And, does this level of availability really measure true commitment?

Commitment is not synonymous with being constantly available! Operating as if it is contributes to higher stress levels and lower life satisfaction levels. Subscribe to our free e-newsletter by sending a blank email to superbusyparent-subscribe@yahoogoups.com to learn more about this and gain some valuable tips.

The advances in modern technology have created a common distorted view of expectations. Commitment to your job in too many cases has become equated with being constantly available. However, just because you can be constantly accessible and responsive doesn’t necessarily mean you should be available 24/7.