Coaching Corner: Clean up your 'no's!'
By "Coach" Marilou Butcher Roth
This week, as often happens, there has been a theme that has been showing up both within my coaching practice, as well as with people I am close to. That theme has been around saying “no,” and what occurs when that wonderful word is spoken.
Let’s face it -- most of us experience varying degrees of discomfort when it comes to actually saying no. Sometimes it is due to not wanting to rock any boats, or be disliked. Or perhaps, we think we should (not my favorite word) do whatever we are being asked to do. Regardless of the reasoning behind our avoidance, when we do actually voice that lovely no, it is often accompanied with large doses of justification. Why?
When you are posed with a situation or question that brings forth your “no,” can you do so without giving countless reasons that you are speaking this word. Have your “no” be a clean one. Think of a time or situation where you know you have an undeniable “no.” In that situation, my guess is that you would not have any sense that you need to justify. Let’s have a bit of fun with this one -- you are out for a fun evening with your family, and you are approached by someone you don’t know. This person walks up, and for whatever reason, blows his cigarette smoke into the faces of you and your loved ones. Would you just stand there, inhaling second hand smoke? Nope, you would not! Without question you would tell this interloper to stop...or at the very least, you would scoop up your family and walk away. Either way, there would absolutely not be even a single iota of explaining to this person all of the reasons that you want him to stop.
When something is a no for you -- allow it to be just that. If you are being asked to do something that you don’t want to do, be OK with that and simply voice “thank you for thinking of me, and right now that doesn’t work for me.” It’s really okay to say no, if in fact, it is a no. Part of this is knowing when something is a yes and when it is a no.
This week, pay attention to anytime that you notice you are saying yes when it is a no. And...if you do say no, do not jump into giving endless rationale as to why. Not...necessary!
So, are you willing to experiment with this? If you find your answer to be a “no,” that is absolutely okay. See you next week!