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The Benefits of No

| November 6, 2007

by Jim Bruce

Most of us cringe at the thought of saying no.  We think that it is not an option.  We don’t want to disappoint.  Etc.  However, saying yes to everything creates an untenable position for you and for your organization.  Esther Derby in “The Benefits of No” gives us an essential management tool, a three-point approach to saying no:

1.  Start by affirming the requester;  let them know you are listening.

2.  Be curious.  Ask questions.  How does this work fit what what you and your team are currently working on.

3.  Give the requester the best alternative you can that addresses the goals of the organization and balances the needs of the organization, yourself, and others.

Give it a try the next time you need to say no.

Have a great week.  .  .  .  .     jim