Scroll to top
Smarter change

Hell Yeah! or no

Since I’ve started collecting things about how to make a “no” sound more like a “yes” for this program, I’ve come across a treasure trove of reasons you sometimes need to say no.

It’s against the conventional wisdom (of say yes to everything) and against basic improvisation lore (law?) – the answer is always yes.

But here’s another take: Dan Pink’s delightful pinkcast that says there’s an opportunity cost to saying yes to everything – you don’t get to do everything. He suggests if it’s “hell yeah”, then you do it, otherwise there’s no room for the “why not, maybe it will lead somewhere”.

Relates to Michael Bungay Stanier’s Great Work concept.

Of course this has so many riders, and here are some, before you get all uppity with me about how you should never say no: it depends where you are in your career (at 20 something you should be saying yes to some maybes), your emotional state (if you’re depressed, nothing sounds like “hell yeah”), how busy and fulfilled you are (if you’re already overworked another yes isn’t going to help you).

But there’s a place for “no” in consulting, in organisations, in life!

Also try this How to say no without feeling guilty from Eric Barker.

And this excellent Farnam St podcast from former FBI Negotiator Chris Voss. I especially love the giggly “How do you expect me to get you do that?” style of no – accompanied with distractor from the Satir Categories.

Related posts