Feb 17, 2008

Saying 'No' and sticking with it

One of the most difficult things to do is saying 'no'. It is as difficult as swimming upstream. The primary reason is that at most times our 'no' sound unconvincing both to others and to ourselves. By saying 'no' we leave ourselves open to myriad push's and pulls. Our 'no' is an invitation for others to counter us with arguments, logic, reason and plain old pressure.

So much so just to buy peace we weakly give in and say 'yes'. Needless to add this leaves us feeling imposed, taken advantage off and hate ourselves for being weak.

Nevertheless, we need to say 'no' to save ourselves from being overloaded with work and overwhelmed by emotional black mail. Now, how are we to say 'no' and escape the backlash?

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Roger Fisher, negotiation expert says there are ways to say 'no' in a way that conveys your resolve and preserves your relationships:

    • Use a neutral no — steady and uninflected ;
    • When explaining why you’re saying no, don’t volley different arguments with your counterpart;
    • Explain the real reason you’re saying no, don’t give lighter-weight reasons.
    • Staying with no tentatively makes it easy for your counterpart to hope you will change your no, and hard for him to accept the no.
    • Avoid a battlefront attitude. When staying with no feels like a triumph of the will, good outcomes are in jeopardy.
    • Clarify where your vulnerabilities lie; and
    • If you want to get better at staying with no, practice with someone who will play the part of your worst nightmare.

Do you think you can say 'no' and stick to it?