You’re probably familiar with the expression, “Just Say No”. It’s a valid expression, and there are times when it’s exactly the right fit. If you find yourself taking on projects that don’t interest you, or that someone else is foisting off on you because of their own lack of interest, or you’re already overwhelmed, a firm but gentle “no” can come in handy.
Our question is this: if you’re in the latter group, and you’re saying “no” because you’re overwhelmed with other responsibilities, we’d like to ask you to reconsider. You may still say “no”, but before you do, make sure what you’re rejecting isn’t a more important opportunity than one of those current over-commitments.
This month our theme has been all about fresh starts and new beginnings. We’ve set some great goals for ourselves and our business, and we’re focused on delivering more facilitation, which our customers say they need, and coaching, which we’re also asked to do with increasing frequency. What that means is that opportunities sometimes come along that are just where we’d like them to be. But we’re busy. Or they’ll stretch us. Or we’re tired. You understand, we’re sure. So how can we deal with that?
We’re practicing finding our way to “yes”. In fact, to “YES!” or “YES, PLEASE!” There are several actions and behaviours we’ve taken on to make that happen. Hint: we’re a partnership, so we always have someone to help keep to the path we’ve set, so first, do this:
Find yourself an accountability buddy.
Here are some of the things we’ve held each other accountable for, this January, with a few links to help nudge you in the right direction:
- If one of us says “no” to an opportunity simply because we’re feeling a bit overloaded with responsibility, the partner helps us decide whether there isn’t something less important we can drop.
- When “no” is the answer because the thing is a stretch, we look for pieces or parts of the work that we’ve done before, or similar situations where we’ve already been successful. And remember it’s supposed to be hard if you’re upleveling.
- In cases where we’re leaning to “no” because there’s too much uncertainty, we err on the side of “tell me more” before rejecting what might be a big chance, out of hand.
- On the occasion when a networking or exploring event presents itself, and we have nothing else scheduled in that timeslot, we default to “yes”.
- Given a chance to do something fun that might lead to an opportunity, although we can’t yet see how, “yes” is now our answer.
January’s nearly over, and we hope you’re moving toward those big goals you set for yourself over the eggnog and fruitcake. We encourage you to find your way to “yes”. And if you need an accountability coach to help you do that, give us a call. Sometimes an investment in yourself is just what you need.
Moving you and your business in the right direction,
Megann and Steve