The Skill of Saying No

This one’s tough. If you’re a yes person you know it. If you’re a no person you know that, too. If you’re a yes person that would like to develop your ‘no skill’- read on.

I’ve always been a yes person. I’m still a yes person, but with a no skill. It took, like any trained skill, some good practice. I’ve been working since I was old enough to work. In my experience, no one teaches the skill of saying no at the workplace. Yes folk take on whatever is handed our way at the office, we work however long is needed to complete the task/s, and we sacrifice ‘outside of the yes environment’ time for other [perhaps even more important] time.

Realizing you need a no skill is the first step. Once you’ve realized it, try and understand ‘why’ you’re saying yes all of the time. Are you trying to be nice? Are you trying to get promoted? Are you afraid of what ‘no’ might bring? Are you a new hire? Once you’ve defined ‘why’ you can then address it with action.

Practicing the ‘no skill’ is the next step. You can practice everywhere. With your local service providers, with pushy friends, with whomever you’d like! Get that ‘in time of tension’ energy moving and learn from it. Seek to understand how tension feels for you and then breathe through it. Learn to breathe. Just breathe. And, then do it again.

Soonest and only after practice, you will find that the tension energy calms. Actually, I think it learns like a muscle. If you’re noticing the feel of your tension, you will soon notice that the same or similar interaction will never again house the same level of tension. That’s because you’ve learned from the experience. And, that there’s the secret.

No one seeks tension provoking situations. Well, maybe some people do. Fact is- they happen. Wouldn’t it be best to have the skill to work through it to get the results YOU want?