I’m constantly reminded at work about the value of saying NO, even when it might be the hardest thing to say at that particular time. I coach people, develop basic training workshops, and try to help teams and manager groups find more effective ways of getting their jobs done. Saying NO is one of the most valuable tools you can ever use– both with others, yourself, and your coworkers.
My favorite way to think of no is from a Seth Godin blog post:
Saying no to something is actually saying YES to something else.
A few ways that NO can really translate to saying YES to a few things:
1. At work: NO- you can’t add that other project to my plate… because YES- I really want this other important initiative to roll-out effectively. My past 6 months of work need to be honored, and I want this to be the best project possible. It needs my time and energy right now- not this new idea that you have for us.
2. At home: NO- I can’t clean the floor tonight,… because YES, I am going to choose sleep over a clean house tonight, because I value my health and happiness over the crumbs in the kitchen.
3. With kids: NO- You cannot have a third piece of candy, even though you are going to have an epic tantrum right now, … because YES- I value your development and my authority to guide you along this journey. I want you to learn you cannot have everything you want, and that somethings are special treats- not expectations.
4. With Yourself (usually the hardest): NO- I will not join that book club this month, … because YES- I want to have more date nights with my husband and find more time to be alone. Those two things will contribute more to my happiness than the book club with a few acquaintances.
Think about something right now that you can say no to, and how it will help you say yes to something else. Then SAY IT, and follow through. I swear, 50 pounds of angst will be lifted from your shoulders instantly.