Why saying no is often better than yes


One of the biggest barriers to organisational change is a collective unwillingess for people to say no. I’m not in any way suggesting that people should become militant and unhelpful, so let me clarify:

If you are asked to do something, it is in everyone’s interest for you to take a moment to establish whether
a. the request will lead to a consumate benefit;
b. whether you have the right skills, experience; and
c. whether you have the time to complete the task in the required time

You would be amazed at how often the task can be simplified, met in some other better way, even if you remain the best person to complete it.

You will also be very surprised at how often team members are happy to help you out and learn new skills/ gain new experience when you delegate to them. Especially if you take the time to make it clear that you have conducted a, b and c above.

Sure, people like the instant power and satisfaction of someone saying to them “yes, no problem, leave it with me etc.”, but the overall gain of a pause will generate a more sustainable satisfaction and respect for your part in a more efficient, more thoughtful business.


One response to “Why saying no is often better than yes”

  1. Jorge says :

    Allie I fully agree with you, and will only extend it to say that it seems that the use of “NO” in modern corporate america is a one way road (from the top to the bottom) and could be considered a CLM (career limiting move) if used in any other way. One of the biggest challenges that I consider is the fallacy of executives to believe their own stories, and to consider that the rest of the employees do not have the ability to contribute besides blindly following their orders, starting with the “appropriate compensation” lies. It is interesting to me that while the CXO’s like to tell middle management “you don’t need money to motivate people”, while their own salaries and bonuses get increased every year; and believe that the employees do not catch up to it. If you will like to read more take a look at my article Motivating
    people: It is about money!

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