Are you free to meet next Wednesday? 'No' plain and simple...and what a relief to say it. We spend far too much time trying to do things that we really don't want to do or just can't. About 10 years ago I decided I was only going to spend time with people that I really liked, found interesting or had something in common with. It was one of the best things I ever did. It meant that I knew I would really enjoy and get something out of the times I did spend with people.
But what about business? Of course there are times when you just have to grit your teeth and say yes. However, too many yesses and suddenly you find yourself agreeing to requests that you disagree with, saying that you like something when you don't and promising to do things that you know you just can't .
So why is it so hard to say 'no'?
We think people will like us less for it and yet they might respect us more. We worry that we might disappoint. How often have people sat in meetings and agreed to work on something that they know isn't going to succeed? Or raised their hand to do something just to show willing, even though they don't have the time nor want to do it and even think it is a rubbish idea?
If you learn how and when to say no to things that don't create value you will have the time and resource to say yes to the things that matter.
So it is time for us to say 'yes' to 'no'!
On the Entrepreneur website is a blog post that argues saying no is good, as it creates space for junior people to step up. And declining things at work allows you to spend more time at home tending to your family.I can think of something even better about it. If enough people were to say no to pointless things often enough it would lead to a more efficient allocation of resources. If we all refused boring meetings and events, eventually the penny would drop and people would stop arranging them.