Do you say yes when you want to say no?
Do you want to have a more significant influence on your team, boss, friends or spouse?
To have leadership influence – you cannot be a people pleaser – someone who says yes, even when they want to say no is known as a yes-man or person. Everyone knows at least one yes-person, the person who is predicted to respond with “Yes, I can do that and that and that.” We love our yes-person until they either burn out or blow up.
Is that you? It is true, most likely you can do that and that, but are you saying yes out of obligation, guilt, or approval?
I was a full-on people-pleaser. I said yes, even when my intuition told me otherwise. I said yes even when I didn’t know the details. I learned early on to please others first and ignore my needs. My childhood was chaotic. For my sensitive being to survive, I had to put others first.
Later, 40 years later, I discovered how to say no without explaining why and began the journey to freedom to be me.
The saddest effect of people pleasing is that each time we say yes when we know it is a “no” or “not now,” we lose a part of ourselves. Self-sacrificing causes disease and depression because we have ignored our own heart and soul’s wisdom.
What can you do when you are face to face with difficulty or demands from others, especially your boss or spouse?
Remember, we all face difficult times when we have to say no to people who don’t want to hear no.
It takes backbone to say no. Ask yourself honestly, what is the most loving thing I can do here? Then you’ll need to pull up the courage to speak your truth. With some people, it is best to take a more comfortable step by writing an email or send a text message you may not need to speak voice to voice.
To say no takes practice. As you know, some people are easier to communicate with than others. Practice on the easy ones, like people you don’t know that well or when there’s not much at stake.
Find a way to bring humor into your conversation. Lighten up the atmosphere by poking fun at yourself or the situation. Be cautious not to make fun of other/s.
Finally, and most significant is to have a support system for yourself. When facing challenging situations at work, you may need an objective friend, colleague, therapist, support group or a coach to empower you to put yourself before others.
Communicating with influence is a fine art. It is a skill, and it improves with practice. Find people in your life that also want to practice conscious, clear, nonviolent communication.
Every time you say “no” you are saying “yes” to someone or something else. When you are committed to your priorities and values, you will communicate with more influence.
Communication skills are leadership.
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