In order to be productive and focused on your tasks, you need to learn the art of saying ‘No’ in a gentle way. Saying No is the most difficult thing many people face. Saying Yes to everything could ruin things for you and you would not be able to get anything done, at least not on time and up to the mark. This communication skills training video by Skillopedia you will learn how to say No without offending anyone or in a Gentle way. At times we are afraid to say No because we don’t want to hurt people or do not want to be in their bad books, but saying Yes lands you in trouble as you invite stress and problems for yourself.
So, what’s so hard about saying No, it doesn’t have to be difficult with these 7 easy steps with your life coach Michelle. Watch the complete video and apply these steps whenever you have to say No.
Complete Video Transcript –
I’m not going to take this call; it’s started ringing again, why is this person calling me again and again? I’m not gonna take this cause I don’t have the time for it. Does this happen to you ever? Requests for your time are flooding in all the time, through phone, through your email, through your chat or your messages or in person. From right now, you can choose how you respond to these requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot. where you might usually say yes but now you need to say, no. you should use the request that you receive from now on as an opportunity to draw a healthy boundary around your time. When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. So you have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time. The whole thing is that, to stay productive and to minimize stress, you have to learn the gentle art of saying, no. an art that many people have problems with. So what’s so hard about saying no? It’s something I have struggled with for many years. Because to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying no to and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person and saying, no, in a wrong way can destroy that. I’m so sure. So what we must remember is that by saying no, you’re saying yes to something more important. Things like de-stressing yourself. Spending time with your family, helping somebody, etc., etc. So today I’m gonna share with you the strategies that helped me learn the gentle art of saying, no. this is Michelle on Skillopedia, the place to learn skills for the real world.
Know how valuable your time is
When you value your time, it becomes easy to say no. you got to know your commitments and how valuable your precious time is. Then when someone asks you to give some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it and tell them that, I just can’t do this right now; my plate is overloaded as it is. When you have set your priorities right, no comes as a natural response to anything less important. So even if you do have some extra time which for many of us is a rare thing, is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that extra time? For me, I know that more commitments mean less time with my family and my close ones who are more important to me than anything. So, no comes as a natural response when you have set your priorities right.
Practice the two letter word NO
To master the art of saying no, you should practise saying no. practice makes perfect, saying no as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word and sometimes repeating the word, is the only way to get a message through to extremely insisting people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. in the end, they’ll get the message.
Be un-apologetic for guarding your time.
The 4th thumb rule for saying no is, don’t apologize. Yes, usually when people have to say, no, they start out like I’m sorry but…and they go on. You may think it’s polite to do that but apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm and unapologetic about guarding your time or saving your time. so you could say something like, I know you were hoping we’d be able to work on this together on the weekend, that isn’t going to work for me. So, I need to say no.
You can’t be nice to everyone around you.
Next, you need to stop being nice to everyone. Again, it’s important to be polite but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you and sometimes you cannot even fulfil your commitments. As you make it easy for people to grab your time or money, they are going to continue doing it. so put a stop to people pleasing by saying, something like the broken record no, which is a repetitive way of saying no. so when someone asks you the same thing again and again, you go on saying no. for example, you could say, no, I’m sorry, I won’t be able to travel out of town that week. And if it’s not enough to say that once, you say it again to make your point clear.
Saying the hardest ‘NO’
The hardest one is to say no to your boss because sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss. They are our boss, right? And if we say no, then we look like we can’t handle the work but in fact, it’s the opposite. Explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are reducing your productivity and denying your current commitments and that sounds fair. But if your boss insists that you take on the project, tell him that you can only do a part of it in the given time. An example for that is, I can’t stay late Thursday because I have my current project to complete. So this gives a brief reason why you can’t accept his request.
Pre-empt the request.
A smart trick is to pre-empt the request. That means to prevent the request from being made. Prevent and pre-empt is so similar. Let’s say if you know that in a meeting, requests are likely to be made about your time. Just say to everyone, as soon as you come into the meeting, look guys just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any requests. Well, that’s smart, so pre-empt or prevent the requests before they are made. That’s a smart trick to avoid saying yes to something.
Give a thought before saying ‘Yes’
If you think the request is important or that you can cater to the request at another time, just say, I’ll get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person, you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. So say something like, George let me check my schedule and I’ll get back to you. How about if I let you know by tomorrow afternoon? Well, this is a polite example of saying no by postponing it to a later time.
Again, if you think, you can consider the request at a later time, you can postpone it. For instance, just say, this sounds like an interesting opportunity but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in the evening. Or say something like, I’m sorry, I’m not free to meet in an hour but I’m free later today. Can we meet at 8 pm?so this is the gentle art of saying no. we have got great examples that we can use.
It’s not you, it’s me.
It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations as well. Many times, the person or project is a good one but it’s just not right for you. At least not at that time. In such a situation, you could say, a pleasant no by complimenting them or appreciating them. Look at this example, Sue, I really appreciate your offer to help me out but I’m going to have to say, no. thanks, I appreciate your offer.
Let’s face it guys, it is hard to say no. especially, if you haven’t done it much in the past. It will feel awkward. Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands of your time. So think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time. No one, right? Only you are at the centre of all these requests. So you are the only one that understands how much time, you really have. So you’re the one who has to say, no. so, try it now after watching this video. Say no to anything that calls for your time when you’re not ready to give it.
So thank you so much for staying with me. I hope this lesson was productive and useful for you.