When you say yes, you are also saying no

Every time we say yes to someone or something we are giving them our precious time. This means when we dedicate our time and energy to one thing, we are not able to give it to something else.

A few years ago I was asked to facilitate a large meeting at work. It was taking place as soon as I got back from a planned family vacation and even though it was an honor to be asked, I had to be honest. I told my team that I wouldn’t have time to prepare, as I would be away the week prior.

I was NOT saying no to my vacation.

It turned out, the meeting was something I didn’t need to prepare for, it was information I shared all the time, so I could still facilitate and not worry about taking time away from my trip.

But if it hadn’t went this way, I would have turned down the opportunity.

When you are asked to do something:

Prepare a response like…
That sounds like an interesting opportunity.
I need to check on a couple of things and I will get back to you.

If you decide the answer is yes, communicate what you will not be able to do and what you are saying No to. Maybe it is a work initiative or it is a sacrifice to you personally, it doesn't matter, share it so the other person understands what they are asking of you.

If you decide no, let the other person know why first so they can see you gave serious thought and that you are saying no because you really cannot do it. You don't have the time, resources or necessary skill set; maybe they can relieve you of another project if this one is more important.

Say yes to what you want to do and no to what you don’t! If you want to discuss this topic further, let’s talk.

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