Unknowingly, we have an inherent need to say “yes”. Now many of you may argue with this statement but the reality of it is that you tend to say “yes” more often than you probably should. Whether it’s the enormous pressure you feel to fit into a culture or the weight of an authoritative figure that coerces the Response. Sometimes it’s out of guilt. Other times it’s because you don’t want to let the requester down. There are several reasons for it and all of them result in the same response from you. You say yes and then have to deal with the repercussions of that response. Saying yes in most situations can be a problem.
Saying yes isn’t always that bad – at times it’s the logical and right response. So you could get away with a “no”. Though that itself can lead to problems. So now you’re stuck between saying yes or saying no. Either one of them has its set of consequences and benefits. The question is how do you respond appropriately?
Here are 4 ways you can Avoid saying yes without the fear of a negative impact.
1. Say Yes When it Adds Value
While you’re going against your inclination to say yes, avoid being dismissive when there’s value that you can gain. If saying yes would allow you exposure, learning, eventual growth, and forming alliances then that’s precisely what you should be saying. Sure it may be stepping out of your comfort zone, working extra hours and forgoing something that you were looking forward to, but think about what you gain rather than what you lose. Sure, avoid saying yes when there’s no value added to your career aspirations. Though, if your career can gain meaningful value by saying yes then that’s the route you should take. It may seem like you’re being selfish, but honestly, how else would be attain a win-win situation!
2. Calculate Your Risk
Every situation that requires a yes or no response is different and should be treated that way. You can’t generalize nor can you simplify it down to a rule of thumb. It’s not that easy and nor is it that straightforward. It’s for this reason that each time you’re stuck on this roadblock you need to take a deep breath and calculate your risks for each option. Think logically and objectively. Analyze what’s at stake, the outcomes and what it all means. By doing this you’ll probably realize that the choice you make would be the one with a lower risk.
3. Take the Middle Road
When caught off-guard or put under the spotlight your time to react is minimal. Sometimes you just have to give a prompt response without the ability of thinking it through. That can be tough. So how do you respond when you’re under such pressure? Take the middle road which avoids a commitment (by saying yes) and a dismissal (by saying no). Blurting out a response (either yes or no) without careful consideration could be unfair – not only to you, but to the people who rely on your response. It could also be detrimental for your business. In situations like these it’s best to respond with “I’ll get back to you on that” rather than giving a definitive response.
4. Avoid the Herd Behavior
Herd behavior is when a group of individuals act collectively without a centralized direction. That basically means you’re agreeing with everyone without having your own opinion or applying your reasoning to a situation. This situation is more catastrophic than you alone saying yes and dealing with its outcome. The trouble with Herd Behavior is that you’re following a group of individuals even though you’re not aligned with them. In the event the group splits up, you’ll be left out to fend for yourself and there’s a good chance you’ll have nothing to offer since you had no opinion of your own when you were part of the group.
Life’s full of choices – some easier than others, some with deeper impacts than others. Saying yes is a great way to “feel good” and maintain a “positive vibe”, but it’s not necessarily the best choice. Avoid saying yes needlessly. Say it when you mean it.
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