My work and life in general becomes overly demanding and this means that I need to start saying “No” to people or situations to find balance and not get overwhelmed.
Many times I need to say “No” to protect my interests without compromising the relationships in which I invested time and effort to build, so it needs to be a positive No. There are many ways to say “No” and we usually fall in one of the following traps:
- We ACCOMMODATE and Say “Yes” when in fact deep down inside we wanted to say “No”. We end up scarifying ourselves for others and even if we regret it, we end up doing the things we don’t want to do.
- We Say “No” in an AGGRESSIVE manner without caring about the relationship or consequences of our answer. This usually leads to broken or harmed relationships and might turn against us later on.
- We AVOID by not saying anything at all. We simply ignore what was requested hoping it will just disappear from our radar.
None of the three approaches is the best way because you either use the power & risk the relationship either care about the relationship but neglect & sacrifice yourself.
Then what’s the right way you’ll ask. The answer is simple. You need to say “No” in a way that you care about yourself and others using the “No sandwich”. The strategy is simple:
- Think What are you willing / can do
- Say No giving a reason
- Be emphatic
In other words when you want to say “No” think about what can you do given that what has been asked from you is not an option which will be the good news, then say why you cannot do what you’re asked to do which will be the Reason and be emphatic.
To give you a brief example:
A colleague asks you for help in putting together an Excel report with some statistics today. Using the NO Sandwich you could say
“I’m really sorry I have a lot of things on my plate today so I cannot help you with it however I can send you the links to the documentation I used to learn how to put together this report.”
Don’t let yourself overwhelmed and start using this technique today, you’ll see it’s a great way to consider yourself and others!