The 365 Commitment

No better than Yes?

Many of us are taught that the secret to rewards is too be agreeable and willing. We learn growing up that our parents tend to be happier with us when we agree right away, and say, Yes Ma’am or Yes Sir on the first request. So, most of us, have a intrinsic bias toward yes.

However, maybe Yes is overrated. Is saying yes to everything appropriate? I think you can probably recognize that saying yes to everything is a recipe for personal disaster. However, even recognition of this concept is not enough. In essence, you need to elevate the status of no in your life.

No is not as bad as you think it is. I know that most of you will have a visceral response to even the idea of saying no, especially to an authority figure. A mother, father,  clergy, boss, spouse, you name it. When someone asks you for something your reaction is to say yes to what they ask. However, you may want to consider a couple of intriguing points. What message are you sending when you say yes to everything?

Lets make this simpler. A dispassionate example. Let us presume that you are a sales person. Would you say yes to everything that your client asks for? If you did, would that be good?

On the outset, you would think that saying yes to your client all the time would be good, right? Well, actually no. Anyone in sales knows what happens when you do this. The relationship actually reduces in value the more you say yes. Now, you need to say yes frequently, however constantly saying yes will cause the person you are selling to you to look at you with less respect. First off, sometimes you can recognize that what the client wants is not in their best interest. A yes to this request indicates to the client that you are only motivated by the sale and do not have true intent. So you have to say no in order to demonstrate true intent.

Secondly if you say yes to everything, then you devalue the product or service that you are selling. The more negotiation that occurs to get to a yes, the more perceived value your client has when they finally do get to a yes. So you must say no on a regular basis in order to defend value.

So a yes is good, but only after a string of no’s. I think we need to learn the power of saying no, as a way to achieve a genuine intent in our lives and a way to defend what we hold as valuable.

Guy Reams

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