Most people find it far too easy to say yes and struggle with saying no. The key to successfully saying no is to use a positive no to guide your work projects or personal life towards a more agreeable outcome.
Photo by smlp.co.uk.
A List Apart, a blog for webmasters and site designers, takes a look at the power of no and the importance of saying no, not just to stand against something, but to stand for the things that really matter to you. They highlight the work of William Ury, the author of The Power of a Positive No.
Ury proposes a methodology for saying no “while getting to Yes.” He argues that our desire to say no is not to be contradictory, but rather to stand up for a deeper yes-what we believe to be true, right, virtuous, and necessary. And that instead of making our defence a negative one, we can frame it in a positive light that is more likely to lead to a favourable outcome.
The following may sound really corny, but bear with me. It has completely transformed how I handle conflict and decision-making.
The structure of a positive no is a “Yes! No. Yes? statement.” In Ury’s words: The first Yes! expresses your interest; the No asserts your power; and the second Yes? furthers your relationship. For example, you might say “I, too, want prospective customers to see our company as current and approachable, but I don’t feel that a dozen social media badges at the top of the page will help us achieve that. What if we came up with a few alternative approaches and chose the most effective one together?”
Check out the full article for more information including real-world examples of designers using the positive no to guide the projects they are working on. Have experience with using the positive no in your work or personal life? Let’s hear about it in the comments.
No One Nos: Learning to Say No to Bad Ideas [A List Apart]