Saying no is powerful.
My toddler wields the word on a daily basis, and in many ways, I’m in awe of his unabashed claim of the word. Despite being an empowering, commanding and beautiful word to utilize, many people struggle to say no. Bad habits, social conditioning, peer pressure, or power dynamics can make it difficult to refuse a request.
Yet the best leaders and CEOs strengthen their ability to say no, and do so thoughtfully and decisively. They know what they want, and insist on it.
How do you get better at saying no?
For me, I’ve learned, and I still am learning, the hard way. It feels like something I’m constantly working on to get better at. I’m an INTJ—that is, an introvert somewhat of a people-pleaser, and I’m also wired extra-sensitive (some would call this HSP). I’ve been influenced by people throughout my whole life, even when I know internally that it’s not something I want to do.
Figuring out my own voice and my own path, and then honoring that voice in the face of pressure from peers, culture, or a boss has often been a challenge.
It can take practice to learn how to say no effectively.
The first time you consciously assert yourself in this way, especially at work, it may feel awkward, like you’re doing something wrong. If you’re trapped at work, or stuck with too many projects on your plate, struggling in setting boundaries with your friends or colleagues, I’m giving a talk this Tuesday, September 8th for the Professional Business Women of California. It’s a virtual event, recorded, and I share my scripts and slides at the end. You can join even if you’re not in California and you don’t have to be a woman—anyone of all genders is welcome to attend.
Setting Boundaries & Saying No
Tuesday, September 8th, 2020 @ 10AM Pacific
Here’s the link to the talk for more details.
In the talk, I cover:
- Refining what it is that you want & getting clear on your boundary.
- Learning what a “yes” and a “no” response feels like in your body.
- Specific catch phrases you can use anytime you feel stuck or unclear.
- How to deftly say no to a boss or a superior.
- How to set clearer expectations with a partner, spouse, or friend.
I also share my reference lists with links to books and sources that have helped me as I continue to learn this skill. Come join us—and learn how to say no. And what about you? What’s the hardest part about saying no or setting boundaries for you? I’d love to know, use the link to tell me. (Link goes to a google form for you to share with me anonymously.)
If you’d like to book me for a workshop or a talk on this topic, reach out.
I write a newsletter about personal development, psychology, and leadership. Recent essays cover how to make better decisions, designing your schedule and life, rethinking the structure of work to fit a more human body, and the intersection of parenting and work. If you're curious, seeking the spark of new and interesting ideas, and want some groundedness within the flurry of modern life, you will probably enjoy my newsletter. Don't see the form below? Head here to subscribe instead.