Join Arianna Huffington for an in-depth discussion in this video Knowing when to say no, part of Thriving @ Work: Leveraging the Connection between Well-Being and Productivity.
- So going back to the earlier conversation we had around values, what showed up in that, when we started doing research around it, is that we saw that people, when they're motivated, again, by their doing being their value, have a difficult time saying no because saying no means they're pushing away that thing that is giving them their value. So people need to slow down and, again, understand what is most important to them, in here.
And when they understand that, it becomes easier to understand and see the moments when we can say no, and the moments when we need to say yes. And that's a challenge for everyone. Someone asks you to do something, and you need to slow down. I tell people, you don't have to say yes in moment. Say, "Give me a few minutes to think about it. "I'll get back to you." If you're not used to saying no, that's the bridge. Great, I hear you. Give me 10 minutes, I'll let you know. So that the automatic yes of course, now I'm approved of shows up.
But what I find is the people that tend to say yes all the time, there's an interesting result, which is they say yes to too many things and they end up not necessarily doing any of them great. It would've been better for them to have said no than to turn in subpar work or to actually not complete something on time, because they said yes to too many things. So it's a really interesting dichotomy. Do I say yes and not deliver, and then lose the approval down the road? Or do I say no and potentially lose the approval right now? You know, ultimately we would say to people, take care of yourself.
If you can't handle all of it, say no. Or elevate the conversation. Boss says, "Hey, I need you to pick up this also." You may not have a choice to say no, but you do have a choice to say, "Great. "Here are the eight things on my plate. "Let me know what the priorities are, "because something's going to not get done "in the timeline that we've set. "So what do we want to do? "Do we want to move this up to the top priority "and move the rest down?" So the boss then has to slow down and go, "Okay, yeah, yes, move that up." Or, "No, I'll go give this to someone else." Those conversations are also important to have, and are conversations that a lot of people have been unwilling to have but are important.
My personal experience was I was an automatic yes guy. And if you needed it, I could deliver. At some point, I started actually realizing the price I was paying. One, to get it all done meant that I was probably going to work really late. I was going to sacrifice taking care of myself on some level, whether it was around exercise, whether it was around meditation. Whatever it was, something was going to be sacrificed. Time with my family, et cetera.
So I had a little wake-up call when I realized that saying yes wasn't good for me all the time, that I needed to take better care. I wanted to have closer and more connected relationships with my family. The other piece was realizing that I would say yes to a lot of things, and as I mentioned earlier I couldn't deliver either on time or at the quality that I would like to deliver, because I was trying to do too much. So ultimately, I was paying a price. Even though there was a perception that wow, he can get it all done, wow, that's impressive, ultimately it wasn't serving me in the quality and in my care.
And so that was the wake-up call for me. I needed to start to create some boundaries. And no became that road, but I had to do that thing called, okay, I hear you. Give me a day or so, I have to figure out if that's going to be able to work. Or here are the eight things I have. What do you think is the priority? Those conversations were my bridge to sorry, I can't handle it. And people in my life now know I say no a lot.
I have a lot of boundaries. But it's important for me because I'm also doing a lot of things. So encouraged to start to practicing that, because it's a self-care technique.
- The importance of well-being
- Bringing your whole self to work
- Knowing your boundaries and limitations
- Investing in your relationships
- Working towards your strengths
- Knowing when to say no
- Holding yourself accountable to change