The 4 No's of being a No Pro
Saying âNoâ can be difficult because Pleaseaholics are concerned about hurting peopleâs feeling or damaging a relationship. I know how difficult it can be to even imagine telling someone no. Having the right tool for the job makes it easier because you donât have to think about how to phrase it just right. The 4 Noâs do all the work for you. These 4 Noâs are simple, practical solutions to gracefully decline a request of your time or resources. Each no is designed for a specific situation or type of relationship. All you have to do it pick the right âNOâ and put it to use.
1. Short & Sweet No
This no is ideal for strangers or intrusive salespeople. In this case, keep it short and sweet with a smile and a simple âNoâ or âNo thanksâ response. I believe in kindness to strangers too, so be polite, but clear. If this sounds impossibly harsh, really think about whatâs motivating you. If you want to avoid hurting a personâs feelings, itâs worse to let them go through their whole pitch and then tell them no. Also, youâre taking time away from people, projects and causes that are your true priorities in favor of someone you donât even know.
2. Simplify Sandwich
Use Simplify Sandwich with co-workers, acquaintances and anyone with whom you have an on-going friendly relationship. It sounds like this, âIâm sorry, Iâm making an effort to simplify right now, but thanks for thinking of me.â The âsimplifyâ is sandwiched between âIâm sorryâ and âThank Youâ â two of the least conflict evoking phrases in the English language. Also, everyone can relate to an intention to simplify, especially around the holidays. Itâs more credible than being âbusy.â
Practice saying the Simplify Sandwich aloud repeatedly so it rolls easily out of your mouth when itâs time to use it.
3. The Invisible No
The Invisible No is great for children or adults who act like children. The âNOâ is implied and inferred, but never stated. In fact it starts with a âyes.â Therefore itâs less likely to be rebuffed. Hereâs the formula for The Invisible No: âYes, you can _____ as soon as you ______.â For example, if your child wants to go outside and play, avoid getting into a tug of war, or caving on your no. Simply respond, âYes, you can go outside as soon as you finish unloading the dishwasher.â Continue to calmly repeat your Invisible No like a broken record. Theyâll get the point.
4. The Positive No
The Positive No is reserved for your most important relationships or significant requests. William Ury, world-renowned negotiator and author of A Positive No, developed it. The structure of A Positive No is actually a YES, NO, YES. The first âyesâ is your core value thatâs driving your need to decline the request. The ânoâ clearly states your boundary. The last âyesâ is an invitation to find a solution thatâs mutually agreeable to both of you.
For example, letâs say your good friend asks you to be in her wedding thatâs being held in Hawaii. She is a very good friend, but you donât consider you to be as close as she does. You donât want to hurt her feelings, but you really canât afford to make a trip to Hawaii. The Positive No allows you to say no and still preserve the friendship. It would sound something like thisâ
âIâm struggling with the costs involved in going to Hawaii for your wedding. I value you and our friendship so much, and would never want to do anything to hurt you. However, I also have to think of my familyâs finances. Iâm so sorry to say I wonât be able to be in your wedding. I hope you know I stand beside you in spirit. I want to show you how much I value you and our friendship in some other way. Could I throw you a wedding shower? What else can I do to make up for the fact I canât make it to you big day?â
In this way, The Positive No honors your intention to respect the other personâs feelings and avoid damaging the relationship, yet also provides a way for you to set a boundary at the same time.
Assignment: When you feel pressured to say yes, but want to say no, pick the âNoâ thatâs appropriate for that situation and put it into play
Stephanie Owens, founder Pleaseaholics.com and creator of the Better Boundaries, Better Life System is dedicated to bringing products and services to busy, purpose-driven women attempting to juggle work, family and their own (usually rediculously ) high expectations. She provides step-by-step guidance to help her clients on their journey to create the life they were born to live. She developed the âBetter Boundaries, Better Lifeâ system to show busy women the keys to unlocking a life that honors their talents, passions and purpose by ridding themselves of the disease to please.