Friday, May 8, 2009

How to say “no”

Third speech from the cc manual... objectives will be given shortly

Have anyone of you ever in your life felt that you could have said no, to something, to your spouse, manager, fiend, girl / boy friend, father, mother, the list grows…instead of a yes, which would have avoided many troubles. If so, please raise your hand.
Say yes reluctantly. Procrastinate shamelessly. Complain relentlessly. Feel like a martyr. You go through all of that, when one little word — two little letters, N O — could have freed you from the obligation.
Good evening Mr. Toast Master, fellow Toast Master, and welcomed guests,
The general purpose of this presentation is to create an awareness of the importance of avoiding unwanted commitments by saying no. The specific purpose is to give tips and tricks for how to say the magical word – “no.”

Saying “no” is perhaps the most important productivity tool that exists. Saying no is an art. It is also perhaps the most difficult thing to do for most people. To set the background right, even though I requested for a slot for next speech one month back, I didn’t get any date confirmed. But when I heard last week that I have to speak next week, I suddenly thought about some other commitment I had already made in office and some other places.
The sudden feeling was to say no!. I was not prepared and I hadn’t even thought of a topic! But suddenly, the Topic flashed before my eyes! …. “How to politely say No when you want to say NO!” As I had not mastered the art of saying NO then, I said YES! as usual! And here I am sharing the secrets with you..

The plight of having to say YES when every part of you wants to say NO can occur any time.
I shall give you a few examples.

You have just bought a new Iap-top and your friend (who you consider to be careless!) asks if she can borrow it.
You are planning to go out for a party with your friends at 7:00 PM, suddenly your girlfriend calls you, asking me to go with her to buy a new pair of shoes. How to say no?

My classmate, with whom I was roaming around, I never thought about marriage and she is asking me to commit. How to say no? The list is endless!

We say "yes"to others because we want to please them. But when eventually we can't continue, we let them down and we feel guilty. Both parties suffer. Recognize that a desire to please others often prevents us from saying no.

Typically in Software Company we see this push pull managers. Many times I felt that these guys will do better job as train engines.
These people ask subordinates to finish the work in one month which would normally take 5 months. They feel that by increasing the number of people every job can be completed in lesser time!. They don’t understand that nine women can’t deliver a baby in one month

We always say yes to managers thinking about the next salary hike and promotions.

When we were two years old, we never had a problem with it. “No” was our favorite word, and saying it was natural, back then. It signaled the beginning of our lives as individuals.
But somehow, over the years, we learned that “No” is a bad word. Being agreeable worked better. It was more socially acceptable. We took to heart phrases on posters plastered on the schoolroom walls reminding us that, “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”
These “people pleasers” think they’re good at making others happy, but their real talent lies in making themselves miserable.

Thinking you are a bad person for saying no is a symptom of “the disease to please.”
Let us come back to the specific point.
How to say no, I have some tips,
1. Listen to the request respectfully. Do not interrupt the speaker.
2. Phrase your "no" as simply as possible. Don't raise your voice or become upset, simply say that you cannot help this time. When you say no, say it in a confident, well modulated voice to sound more straightforward.
3. Don't feel obliged to explain.
4. If you have to explain, explain in a simple manner, and only if you wish to do so.
5. Stand firm. If the requestor does not want to accept your answer, tell him or her that your mind is made up and that you will not change it.
• If your refusal upsets someone, remain calm and, if possible, remove yourself from the situation. Eg: look at your watch and create some valid reasons, oh I forgot that there is a meeting I have to attend.
• This approach can be used for salespeople as well as friends. Telemarketers are human too.
• Preface your 'NO' by saying 'I understand what you are saying' before refusing - it helps if people feel empathy.
If you feel you are at risk of physical harm, alert a third party as quickly as possible. If you can, call the local emergency number 100 or 911.

Be careful of your WORDS because your words become your thoughts. Be careful of your THOUGHTS because your thoughts become your actions. Be careful of your actions because they create your HABITS.
So make a habit of saying NO when you want to say NO!
Over to you Mr.TM.

Live in this moment, now!!!

This is the second speech from competent communicator manual. I shall give the objective/guidelines soon.

Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with Rs.86,400. It carries over no balance from one day to another day. Every evening deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every rupee? Of course!!!!

Good evening Mr. Toast master, Fellow toastmasters and welcome guests,

Each one of us has such a bank. Its name is TIME. Every morning, it credits you with
86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this we have failed to invest to good purpose.
It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for us. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If we fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is ours.
Unhappiness lives in the past and the future; there is no unhappiness in the present. What are you unhappy about? Is it about something that might happen in the future or something that happened in the past? When we spend time regretting the past, or worrying about the future, there isn’t room for happiness in the present.
Do you know the most uttered word in our life? ….For me it is Good morning… No matter where, no matter who, every morning we say good morning.

Do you know the variety of replies we get for these same beautiful words?

If you say “Good morning” to a 6 year old kid, he will say, “Good Morning or Great Morning, with lot of enthusiasm and energy.”

10th standard student -- “Oh lot of things to do. Final exam is approaching, I haven’t finished the 5th revision yet, I am very tense every morning.”

Professional college student – “Market is fully down. US and Indian companies are laying off people. None of the companies are doing campus recruitment. Each morning I wake up wondering, whether I will get a job after my studies!!”

Working professional – “What morning ?, you know, market is down, NASDAC has lost 100 points today, companies are laying off, US is planning to stop outsourcing. I am worried about my “EMI’s”. How can you say it is a “good” morning”?

What amazed me was the amount of time most of the people were not fully in the present. It seemed like they were always thinking about what was next, or thinking about some event in the past.
When you bring your awareness into the moment of now, all worries of the past and all imagined fears of the future gently fade away. All that left will be the vivid experience of the present. It is in this state that you actually start to see life. You'll see colors you never saw before. It is in this awareness where appreciation grows.
Pay attention to the beauty in the world. We rush so fast that we don't even notice what's right in front of our eyes. Feel the air. Close your eyes and let the sun beat on your face.
Happiness is not experienced in the past or in the future. Happiness is always experienced in the moment. If you are waiting to be happy sometime in the future, you might be waiting a very, very, very long time.
Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it's called the present!!
Over to you, Mr. Toastmaster.