I recently came across a blog post written on CompuKol entitled “Say No Like a Pro – When You Must Turn Down New Business.” The premise of the article is that we are inclined to say “yes” when perhaps we should say no.
In the article, the author, Shari Weiss, offers seven scenarios in which you may feel the need to say yes but really shouldn’t. She tells how to graciously say no without harming the relationship with the potential customer.
I was inspired by the article. Career women are faced with the challenge of taking on new tasks, work or causes every day and it is important that we learn how to assess each situation prior to responding yes OR no.
I commented on the article, offering my suggestions for questions women with a purpose should consider before responding to a request; whether it is at work, home or in the community:
- Get a handle on how much work is ahead of me and clearly understand what is expected of me. What are the expectations?
- What are my other commitments that could interfere?
- Ask good questions and get serious about getting answers that will alert me to how the project or event fits with my business goals.
In my comment, I also list additional thoughts to consider; digging deeper beneath the surface rather than just looking at the calendar to see if I can squeeze in one more thing. In part, I ask:
- What does taking on this project mean to my everyday life? How will it impact other responsibilities and commitments?
- Should I take on the project as-is or is it better to break it up to get it going?
- Do I need to realign myself with other people, tools, or resources to be successful?
- Can I meet or exceed expectations?
- What are the timelines and what will they mean in my everyday life?
- Do I need to reprioritize other commitments to make this successful?
- What will suffer if I accept this project?
- Am I the best person for this task?
Time is a precious and limited commodity and if our goal is to become purposeful women, women that have balance, we must carefully look at each request of our time to determine if it is truly something we should add to our list of responsibilities. If so, then what on our list can we take off to make room?
It’s always a good idea to explore new opportunities as long as you’re diligent about asking these kind of detailed questions upfront. This analysis minimizes your chance of over-committing your business and personal life.
So before you say yes…stop and have a conversation with yourself. Tell me – have you ever said “yes” when you should have said “no?” What happened?