Empowerment, Innovation, Self Esteem

Learn How to Say NO and Get Away With It

Are there times where you wish to say NO to your colleague who “brilliantly delegate” work to you? Are there times where you have made a personal appointment but have rescheduled it no thanks to the last minute bombshell your boss drop on you? Most of the time, we end up doing what others want, albeit grudgingly.

Well, I must admit that saying NO may come naturally to some people. However, for most of us, turning people down make us feel guilty and embarrass. We think we are incurring peoples’ wrath when we turn them down. There is a lot of fear involved and we instantly picture OTHER PEOPLES’ perceptions of us. After much internal struggle, we grudgingly say, “yes” to something we wanted to say NO.

The reason for this topic is because I just experienced the power of saying NO. Due to the numerous projects on hand and the special request by the managers for me to handle some of the jobs, I was STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to re-schedule my leave. The promise made to me was my leave will be carried forward to the next financial year. Well, that was beyond the point. I scheduled the leave a year ago and wanted this leave badly to do some of my personal projects.

Many thoughts flashed across my mind, such as, “Will people think badly of me?” Initially I was too embarrass to turn her down, thus I asked which clients I had to work on. That was a BAD MOVE! I was allowing my planner to think that I was willing to forgo my leave to work and that it was about the selection of client. When I realised how close I was to giving in, I requested for some time to think it over.

After much deliberation, I said, “No”. Of course it was not done forcefully, but rather I explained that spending time with my loved ones (trying to strike some common- ground with her) and co-ordinating my holiday with them did not come easily, thus I seek their understanding in allowing me to retain my original leave period. Well, I am not sure if there is any repercussion, but I do know that I have the power of choice.

Saying no is never easy, but it’s becoming a crucial life skill. But many people are afraid of that two-letter word, says William Ury, author of The Power of a Positive No. “We’re afraid of not being liked, not being accepted,” says Ury. “We’re afraid of hurting a relationship or losing a deal.”

The problem is not with saying NO, but rather HOW you turn someone down. The key to saying no: be polite but direct. Don’t worry about seeming “nice,” says Michael Watkins, founder of Genesis Advisers, who has taught negotiation courses to executives at Harvard.

Learn how to negotiate well.

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