Saying No

word cloud of NoI’ve decided to participate in NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month. For the month of November, I’m going to post every day. This is day 5 (in the nick of time).

Lately I’ve been thinking about no. Saying no, that is. This has been a challenge for me, and I think perhaps I’m not alone. You see, I’ve been guilty of being the yes-man (woman?) too often. This is not just to outside requests – I’ll say yes to my own desires even when it’s completely unrealistic given the parameters of time, money, other commitments, etc.

The past few years I was lucky to work with someone who really taught me a lot about No. I’ve learned it’s okay to say no, even when it’s a request from your boss or other senior colleague. Saying no to one thing is really saying yes to something else. Thinking of it this way has made it a lot easier for me to say no. Saying no is being realistic and having a greater understanding of what can be done with available resources.

Saying no can be a group decision, for example, if we do Project B then we won’t have time for Project A – which do you think is more important for us to do now? Saying no is sometimes what’s expected and someone just needs to present no as an option.

Saying no is not necessarily admitting defeat, failure, inability, or disinterest. Saying no can be very liberating. It can be empowering and energizing. It can be freeing.

I’ve become much better about saying no when it relates to my professional life. Now I just need to apply this to my personal life…






One response to “Saying No”

  1. Brandy Avatar

    For such a small word it really is hard to say sometimes. I am learning to do this myself.