It is essential to say No to people if the situation demands, in order to balance out things at work and prioritize better. But just when the moment arises to say NO to anyone at work, it sends jitters down the spine. Leaving us in a huge dilemma on how to handle the situation.
Especially if the person standing (or at the phone’s other end) is your senior or a high value customer.
But how long will you succumb to the pressure and swallow that NO that should’ve been told, and you being rightfully relieved from that delicate circumstance?
Before we go to the actual technique, let’s first understand the true profound meaning of the word No. No means I Know what I am doing and I take full responsibility for my actions.
No should not be seen in the light of rejecting someone but rather assuring that you know a alternative that serves the purpose for all of the best intentions and you are ready to stand by it in all adversities.
Realising this fundamental truth is an absolute prerequisite to understand the technique I am about to share.
Did You Know: People who effectively say NO at work attain special status:
- They command a higher respect and stature in the organisation, if the NOs are logical and meaningful.
- They cut through all the flabs and end up being more productive than their peers.
- They learn to manage people’s expectation better, resulting in lesser heartburn and greater relationship building
So just to reiterate, a No is a not a mere communication but assuming a great deal of responsibility on oneself.
But how do you muster the courage to stand up tall and say that NO?
The following advice would sound very silly but trust me, it is the only way out there to say a convincing NO and still walk away with all the respect.
The best way to say NO: Look straight into the eyes of the person and blurt out the word NO.
It’s that simple.
Yes, that’s all it takes to say a convincing NO.
And if the other party is on the phone, then first clear your throat and then take your most neutral tone and blurt out that NO.
So, how can it be so simple but 99% of us don’t know how to handle such situations?
When we are to say a NO, we just subconsciously evaluate the ramifications of it and in the process lose confidence in the original logic (which still continues to be correct as nothing changes anyway) of disagreeing to a flawed viewpoint that others try to thrust on us.
In this whole microsecond contemplations, we move to a different plane from the original plane of sincerity. And that reflects in how we completely avoid the eye contact.
This results in burning the bridges and the relationship falling out, what we were fearing in the first instance.
Looking into the eyes, while saying a NO, on the contrary brings a refreshing sincerity to the equation that people wouldn’t have often come across. It’s so rare that the recipient is caught up unaware by the honesty that is being displayed.
The rare honesty would force a person to think rationally and not get offended immediately. And if they see the logic, they’ll not only correct their stance but also gain a new found respect for your character.
Same goes with holding a neutral tone and saying a NO over the phone. Amid all the clutter and miscommunication that we get exposed to, someone talking in a neutral tone and saying something, even if it is not desirable, grabs the immediate attention.
Someone asked me this question at work – Ram Sir, please tell me how to say a NO. And hence I thought of writing this piece of article.
Please leave a reply if you find this article useful in managing complex situations at your work.