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.

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