Home > NewsRelease > A Time to Say “No” and Profit From It
Text Graphics
A Time to Say “No” and Profit From It
Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist
Tenafly , NJ
Monday, March 16, 2020

Dr. Patricia A. Farrell

What can three-year-old's teach us that we should use and take seriously? Of course, it's that we need to say "no" more often. Reading that you may be thinking I'm referring to the #MeToo movement, but I'm not. In our daily lives, there is definitely a place for that strong statement that is contained in only two letters and they are "n" and "o" and you need them.


The current situation all over the world with regard to the coronavirus is shaking up the way we live, work and even think. One thing to incorporate into that mix is that it's not in anyone's best interest to always agree to whatever request is made of us. There are times for responding in the affirmative and times for politely, but firmly disagreeing with the request. Thinking over the current health dilemma, there should have been more disagreements than agreements and we might have avoided a health and financial crisis. Give that some thought.


Anyone working in a corporation that is on the track to being successful knows the value of "no" when it comes to planning and the actual working business plan. The team member who always wants to please and never sees there are negatives in almost any plan isn't a good team member at all. These "yes men and women" may make some temporary capital with an insecure manager, but it's not a success plan for their future careers or their business.

How to Say "No"

Disagreeing with anything is a delicate balance that might be seen as a ballet; graceful yet steely determined. The manner in which you do it is the secret to using it effectively.


Take a page from the workbooks of therapists here. When a therapist disagrees with something a client has said, they don't come on with a full head of steam. Instead, they approach it with "Tell me a bit more about how you came to that (decision, plan, thought, etc.)."


This starts that all-important communication style that leads to important "breakthroughs" (if you wish) and turns the thinking around to being critical, creative and helpful. But always, always remember that you construct your "No" statements carefully and hold back on blurting out anything. Of course, if you don't use your ability to censor wisely, you will pay the price even if you could have helped tremendously with the project by voicing your negative opinion.


Want to be more tentative? You know how to do it. Of course, you do. You begin with a mild compliment ("I see where you're going here and I find it interesting…") and then you use the "Tell me" portion of the dialog. Simple as baking bread and you can become a master at both.


The Plan

Before you begin your portion of the give-and-take, take a few minutes to toss around in your mind a few ways to approach it. Consider the person and then choose your words and how you'll string them together.


Often, it's helpful to rehearse and talk out loud to yourself as you prepare for that "no" you're about to offer. Giving voice to your thoughts that way allows you to refine what you will say. So, go ahead and talk to that smart person you know is the real you.



Website: www.drfarrell.net

Author's page: http://amzn.to/2rVYB0J

Medium page: https://medium.com/@drpatfarrell

Attribution of this material is appreciated.

Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist
Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D., LLC
Tenafly, NJ
Other experts on these topics