7 Ways to Say No

This week in a coaching session with one of my CEO clients we talked about how to take more control over our time.

In our meeting, my client said that he wished he could say “NO” more often.

I think many people struggle with telling others “No”. The reason they struggle is because they think they only have two choices. They can either say “yes” or “no”.

I try to avoid “all or nothing” thinking. I believe that there are many alternative between the extremes.

So here are several different ways I shared with my CEO client that he could say no:

7 Ways to Say No:

1) Say NO… with a straightforward explanation – “No, I’m uncomfortable doing that!”

2) Say NO… and give an alternative – “No. I can’t do that today, how about first thing in the morning?”

3) Say NO… and clarify your reason – Help them understand your position. Explain the why. “No. I can’t help you because I made commitment to my family to not work on weekends this month.”

4) Give Preface then Say NO… – “Each year we choose 3 charities to support and I am sorry you are not one of those this year.”

5) Make an empathetic listening statement (let them down easy) then Say NO…. – “I can see this is important. I would like to have someone help, however all my staff is already committed to project A that is due next week.”

6) Say YES BUT… – “Yes I can do Project B but not Project A”

7) Say YES AND… I nicer way to say yes but and it allows you to give them alternatives. “Yes I can help with the project, and I will need you to…”

What are some of the items you have taken off your list recently? Let me know and I will share them with my readers. E-mail me by clicking here


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