No Is Not A Negative

saying no

I have begun to understand something new. If I need more time, I can put some things off. Okay, so that’s not the new part, I have done that for years. What I’m beginning to find out is that if I put things off, eventually they will come back, and I will have to do them anyway. And when I finally have to face them, I find myself under even more pressure to complete the items I have put off plus all the new demands that have come into my life.

So, what’s the trick? Sorry, no gimmicks. The only thing I have gained is the understanding that I need to do things as they are due and not put them off. Putting things off only asks for more grief. Instead of putting things off, use a two-letter word at the very beginning.

Everyone likes to be popular and to be so, we quite often feel we have to tell people what they want to hear. What do most people want to hear? Yes. Just think about that for a second. How many people come in and ask you a question hoping you’re going to say no and leave excitedly when you do tell them no? No may not be the most popular word, yet it could be the most honest.

To use the no word you have to understand what your time constraints are, what your job is, and what the positive and negative would be for taking on additional work which belongs to someone else. Quite often, with a person leaning over your desk and expecting a yes, it is hard to calculate the positives and negatives. That’s why they didn’t just send you an email. I think the best answer at that moment is, “Let me check my schedule to see if I can do you the best job I possibly can for you, and I will get back to you.”

Actually, take the time to see how busy you are with your work. Calculate the standing of the person who asked and what positives and negatives they could do for you. And then give them an honest answer.

I cannot tell you the right or wrong thing to say. I can only tell you that if you have time and can do a favor for someone you believe would repay that favor in the future, helping out could be a good move. If you have enough to do already and the person is just trying to put off their work onto you make sure you are able to do your best with your work. And no may be the most appropriate answer.

However you give the answer, be honest and genuine. No can be as good an answer as yes depending upon how you hand it back to the requester. In doing so, give them good suggestions. Offer to get back with them if your workload changes. Give ideas for others who may be able to help. Show interest in their work and check back in with them from time to time to see how things are going.

We are all a team. Dedication to the team starts with ensuring you can do your job to the best of your ability.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Author: Mike Balof

A retired Air Force Master Sergeant, Mike used to lay in bed at night and worry about what would happen if his plant closed or found himself without a job. One day his plant closed. Rather than panic and hysteria (OK, maybe a little) Mike found himself carried away on the adventure of his life. Mike started with the best job he ever had working at Home Depot. He spent 8 years working with job seekers at a local workforce center, helping them to find employment. He then started his own company developing courses, writing books and urging others to follow their own paths into the future. Mike holds a Master of Arts in Adult Education and Training and a Bachelor of Business Management, earned through the University of Phoenix and an AAS degree in Electronics Systems Technology from the Community College of the Air Force. Mike is a member of the Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society.

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