How are you avoiding saying "No"

I have been delivering a number of free coaching sessions recently to help people start 2010 off on the right foot. One of the themes that seem to be emerging is people’s fear or reluctance to put in place boundaries, and say “No” in order to protect those boundaries. I will write about how to say “No” without fear of unleashing world war 3, in my next “Leading Questions” newsletter.

Meanwhile, I am really interested to know how you avoid saying No. Here are some recent examples:

  • Saying “I can’t” when I mean “I won’t”
  • Bringing in all kinds of reasons/excuses why I can’t or its not possible
  • Talking about something else in order to deflect
  • Making vague promises using “maybe” “perhaps” “sometime soon” etc.
  • Saying “Yes” and hoping they’ll foget
  • Using “they” “the management” “the group” or “someone” when I mean “I”
  • Avoiding the person making the request.

So, here are my coaching questions. And I would love to hear your responses:

  1. How do you go about not saying “No”?What kinds of situations lead you to behave like this?What is the fear that is holding you back?What is the potential impact on you and on others of not saying “No”?

One Response to How are you avoiding saying "No"

  • The issue of saying "no" is a very serious matter which really reflects on the culture of the organisation. It is crucial to say "no" rather than accept an inappropriate activity or responsibility. The inability to say "no" means that the organisation does not have a blame free culture. Such a culture is essential for a successful organisation.

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