The Challenge of Saying “No”

ProtestHow much do you say, “No,” at work?  Better stated, how well do you say, “No?”  For many of us, turning down a project or simply using common sense prioritization to restrict the demand (or requests) of us is a real challenge.  Why is that?

For starters, I believe that many of us are simply people pleasers.  We don’t like to disappoint others.

But many of us are also ego-driven.  That is, we want to believe (and to have others believe) that we can do anything toward which we set out minds and bodies.

Oh, but isn’t youthful ignorance bliss?

At some point in nearly all my coaching engagements, I talk about priorities with my clients.  And trust me, they all understand the importance of setting and maintaining priorities.  Lots of head nodding.  Tons of affirmation about the concept.  Loads of agreement that this is what’s needed.  And, unfortunately, too often than not, lots of actually doing nothing…or at least, not enough.

Leadership-and-Choices_2In leadership development, the topic of prioritization is a staple from the lowest levels, a Management 101 type task or topic of discussion.  Less so as the level of leader elevates, where the emphasis on prioritization is often reserved for the occasional coaching session.  But often executives merely give prioritization lip service.  Too often, their actions don’t match their words.  Uh oh…Gap time!

So, I pose this question….

Regardless of your level in the organization, how well do you prioritize?  And how often do you find yourself able to turn down assignments or projects “dumped” in your lap?

say-noDo you say, “No”…..and do you mean it?

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