I Just Can’t Say No!
I was listening to the radio today and the presenter played a snapshot of Seth Godin’s comment on ‘saying no’. It totally stopped me in my tracks!
He said that when you don’t say NO, but you should, then you are acting as a “cost-free unprioritised contribution to other people’s work.”
OMG!!! He is so right!
So many people I work with are suffering from one of the following because they can’t ‘Say No’. Do any apply to you too?
- Too much to do.
- Feel guilty.
- Don’t want to let people down.
- Think I “should” or “must”.
- Know it “won’t get done if I don’t do it”
However, Seth is right. We have it wrong if we think we are doing anyone a good turn by always saying yes. And the person we are doing the most harm to is our self.
It could be you are ‘over parenting’. You know you do it, right? At work AND at home. Perhaps you are short of time, and so you do whatever needs to be done because you “don’t have time” to show someone how. Perhaps you do it because you equate doing everything for them to showing them you care.
But here’s the thing. If you are doing everything for them you are not enabling them, you are Dis-Abling them. You are preventing people (including your actual kids) from growing up in the role and in life.
You think you are doing a good thing, being kind, not putting too much on anyone. But actually, you are just treating like kids (yes I know your actual kids ARE actually kids, but they will stay kids forever this way!).
This behaviour just teaches them to keep asking you.
Some might think they are getting a good deal because they can push stuff onto you instead of taking responsibility for it. But they need to either do it themselves and grow or find the right person to delegate that too. But that should not be YOU!
There will be others, who might not say anything, but who are probably frustrated that they are not trusted and they are not growing. They might end up leaving. They will certainly end up unmotivated and therefore less productive. You also are probably frustrated as your own stuff needs doing and what you want to do as a leader doesn’t get done.
So, saying no is a good thing.
You don’t need to be “ranty” about it. Saying no in the right way helps people to understand why and what the benefit is to them. Pre-framing will help. Telling them why before it happens. And getting agreement on their understanding before you do it.
This approach quickly retrains their thinking and will help them enjoy taking responsibility.
And that is what is real leadership is.
That is something we talk about a lot in the Quiet Leaders Launchpad, as it is a part of the role that those who consider themselves “Quiet Leaders” often struggle with. And once they have this skill under their belt – boy does it make them feel good!
But more importantly than that, it makes them a more effective leader, and their teams more productive and happier.
Lots of good reasons to master the ability to ‘Say No’. Drop me an email if you need any help with this crucial skill! firstname.lastname@example.org