The assumption is often made nowadays that a positive outlook is the way to achieve great things, and there are certainly some studies that seem to evidence that. We are always being told by the gurus that optimism is the way ahead, and there are any number of positive thinking and motivational speakers who will preach that message.
A consequence of that approach (and let me just say I am a big advocate of it) is that in addition to a positive mindset, we are also encouraged to be positive in our interactions with other people, and in our language and actions.
One of the most positive things you can say in response to anything is “yes”. If you asked a salesman after a sales meeting how it went, if he said “I got a positive response” you’d be inclined to think that he meant the prospect had said yes.
So given this strong evidence, how can there be any power in saying no?
A very good question.
There are two really important reasons why saying no is powerful.
1. Saying “No” Can Set You Free…
If you say yes to everything, you are setting yourself up for a whole heap of trouble down the road. Saying yes means you are agreeing to what everyone else wants you to do. Saying yes means you agree to:
• Write that report by the deadline of midnight;
• Take the bins out;
• Do the ironing;
• Carry stock in your shop that you don’t think is good;
• Work on a project you don’t have time for…
…and whatever anyone else can think of. Of course there is nothing wrong with doing any of those things if you want to, but if you say yes to everything, that is a short road to disaster and a breakdown!
We all have some things we have to do that can’t be avoided. But there are some things you can say no to. Even at work, you can say no to the boss providing you do it in a constructive way with a proper explanation. If you’ve got a boss who refuses to take no for an answer, you need a new job!
2. Saying No Can Increase Demand For Your Services
This is a bit counter intuitive – how can refusing to help someone at a certain time increase their demand for your help in the future?
Saying no in the right way can create a sense of exclusivity, and give the impression that your product or service is not always going to be available on tap. Exclusivity, rarity, call it what you will, all increases the perceived value of what you offer.
If customers need to book you in advance, or wait for a free time for you to work on their project, this can enhance both the desirability of what you offer and also in some cases, the price that people are prepared to pay for what you do.
Managed appropriately, this can really help to boost business and also give you some flexibility to increase prices. Higher prices can also increase demand too, but that is a subject for another blog post!
So what are you doing right now that you could or should be saying “no” to?
Performance Coaching and Training is about personal growth, maximising performance and creating the results you want.
In my experience the key to peak performance is the emotional state you are in at any given moment. The emotional frame you are in will have a direct impact on your results and the level at which you are performing. The way to change your thinking is to change the way you look at things in your life. If you are not getting the results you want in your life you need to look at your beliefs. Your beliefs have a direct impact on the results you are getting in your life so if you want different results, address what are your limiting beliefs.
The Dangers of Yes: We have more things available to us than ever before. ‘Yes’ becomes so easy. It often dupes us into thinking it is the path of least resistance. Literally anything is possible. On top of this we make a huge number of daily choices as well: what to eat, what to wear, how long to work for, what we want to do what we need to do. Is it any wonder that we are in a state of constant overwhelm!?!? There are so many choices and ‘to dos’ it is stressing us out!
When we say yes to one thing we are automatically saying no to another. If you say ‘yes’ to staying at work late you are automatically saying ‘no’ to family or ‘me’ time. If we say ‘yes’ to going out every night and spending time with friends we say ‘no’ to being well rested and the opportunity to show up fully as the best version of ourselves. In this busy modern world there will always be more to do than time to do it. When we say ‘no’ it frees us up to say ‘yes’ to something else… things that matter more.