Join Tatiana Kolovou for an in-depth discussion in this video Saying no, part of Communication Tips Weekly.
- Saying "no" to other people can be so hard. But there are times when no is the best choice. Whether we're protecting our time, or our children, or our sanity, we can all benefit from a few well placed "noes" in life. Let me share a simple model for saying no that has helped me countless times when I'm in a tough spot. I call it the "no sandwich." I begin with what I am willing to do, which softens the no so that I can get it out of my mouth.
Then I say no, which is the meat of the sandwich. And I give the reason for my no. The reason, like the mayo on a sandwich helps the no slide down a little easier. And finally, I close by restating what I am willing to do. So, the top bun and the bottom bun, the beginning and the ending, are easy for me to say because they are both positive. Let's see the no sandwich in action.
A colleague has just asked me "Brenda, can you show me how to get "the class roster into the Excel document the right way?" Now, I know that I'm working on another higher priority project, and that if I stop to help my colleague I'll be working late tonight to catch up. So, "I'll send you the notes that I kept "explaining how to do it. "I can't show you right now, "because I'm buried with this registration issue. "But check your inbox in two minutes "and I'll have it to you." Did you hear each of the parts of our sandwich? Let's try another one.
You can use the no sandwich outside of the workplace as well. Imagine if your child asks, "Mom, can I go to a party on the beach with Jason tonight?" Um, noway! But, let me say it this way. "Honey, you guys can hang out here, "or you can go to the movies. "You may not go to the beach party "because it's just too unsupervised. "But again, you're welcome here at our house." Now it's your turn. Think of something someone has asked you to do in the past week, or is likely to ask you to do soon.
You want to say no. You don't want to do it. You don't have time to do it. It's not your job to do it. Whatever the reason. Try beginning with what you can do to be helpful. move to no and a reason, and then close with your yes again. Saying no may still be tough, but our sandwich makes it a whole lot easier.
- Understanding introversion and extroversion
- Persuading people
- Negotiating your needs
- Making small talk
- Saying no
- And more…
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