The One word that will change your life instantly. NO.

It’s just a word, one that you will have hear a thousand times in your life. Said at the right time in the right place it can relieve stress and create clarity both in your professional and personal life.

As a leader, you will need to work out your own beliefs and values around the word NO. How and when to say NO is a core skill we all need to have, here’s why.

1.      When you have a belief that the people around you are consistently asking more from you, and your finding yourself unable to say no or if you finding yourself blaming others for taking up to much of your time or focus, it’s NOT about them, it’s about you. If the people around you don’t have clear consistent boundary’s set by you, then they will consistently prioritise their own needs and agendas.

2.      If you find yourself saying YES, because you’re concerned about how someone else might respond to your NO, in the world of leadership there isn’t really much space for literally being liked, and the chances are you are people pleasing in the hope that people will follow you as their leader because they like you. The result when playing the role of the people pleaser leader is that you begin to lose the focus needed to deliver on what needs to be done and achieve the results your actually responsible for.  

3.      We need to recognise that saying NO is a skill, and at times an art form. It takes some personal responsibility to reflect on your beliefs and past experience. Then you need to create a clear picture of who you are when you say no and what the specific outcome is behind your intent when saying no.

4. If not recognised and managed, the NO word can build a significant body of resentment, like a dripping tap, till one day you will spill over! Resentment is a nasty beast!

5.The world will NOT come to an end if you stand your ground, speak your truth and are confident when you need to say NO to someone or something. You have no control how anyone will choose to respond to your NO. However, if said when necessary, with consistency and after being filtered through your core values, you will in time, toughen up and feel confident in the NO space.

A Quote from Mt Buffet I was sent by a client who had just done the NO homework.

“the difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say no to almost everything.” I’m not saying that you need to say “no” to almost everything, but I am saying that your success rides on your ability to honor your truth. “

My untested theory is that our beliefs about the NO word is a significant throw back from childhood when we were told NO for whatever reason, on some level at the time it hurt our feelings. This, in turn, created a whole belief system around the NO word.

Just stop for a moment and reflect back and look for when and how the NO word was used in your formative years. Parents, Caregivers, teachers will all undoubtedly used the NO word at some time. What you witnessed and absorbed in your formative years have already set your unique belief system - every decision you make around the NO word has been formulated from childhood.

Just for one week, observe your own use of the NO word.

If you’re finding that you don’t use it well or effectively.

1.Take some time to think about the word no, what it means to you and how your belief systems support your thoughts and behaviour, around the word NO.

Starting from childhood and working up to the present day focusing on your formative years think about as many occasions as you can remember where NO, was the central issue.

2.Then repeat the exercise only this time focus on your working life.

I could go on, but you get the idea. By focusing on the source, core beliefs and as and when they were formed this, in turn, creates the self-learning and then the opportunity to implement the change needed to enable us to feel safe, empowered and confident when saying NO!

Sian x