No is your most productive word

I was listening as my friend debated with herself on whether or not to accept the position of committee chair.  She is a busy woman, juggling the demands of a career and young children.  She leads a Girl Scout troop; chaperones school field trips and heads up the library committee.    Even with already limited family time, she agonized over declining the position.  Should she, or shouldn’t she?

Why is it so hard for some people to say no?

I’ve discovered there are many ways to avoid saying no.

“Call back after the first of the year.”

“Call me in three months.”

“Call again next week.”

“Let me think about it.”

Some avoid saying no by letting phone calls roll over to voice mail and never returning them.

Some have their calls screened by a front desk person who comes back with, “He’s on a call right now,” or “She’s in a meeting, can I put you through to her voice mail?”

Stop it, please stop it.

Believe it or not, “No” is the second-best answer you can give.

Everyone who calls asking for something would like a “yes”, but when you give a clear, decisive “no”, you are doing them and yourself a service.  They can take you off their call list and move on to the next prospect, and you have fewer calls to avoid.

Look at it another way; “No” is your most productive word.  Use it more often.

The road is easier together,

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