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saying no just isn’t easy

December 12, 2014

With a full calendar and hardly a minute to spare many of us are in danger of being overwhelmed by the amount of work we have taken on. We all know that the quickest way to create some space and take a breath is to just say “no”. From William Ury’s best seller “The Power of a Positive No” to the advice of well-meaning friends we are told that we shouldn’t be afraid to say no. But many people are.

Saying no isn’t easy.

Dealing with our emotional response to thought of saying no is one thing, dealing with how other people react to being told no is a completely different thing all together. We want to be seen as being more than just competent. We want to earn the trust of our colleagues and we need to get the work done. So we say yes with the consequences that the important but not urgent works slips further behind, we rush to produce work of a quality below what we are capable of and we fear we will burn out if this continues much longer.

One of the things I have said yes to recently and I am glad I did was the opportunity to spend some time with a group of female leaders and get to the heart of why we often struggle to say no and what action we can take to make it easier.

It was a great session with a lot of nodding going on as I shared the framework provided by Silvan Tomkins to understand and identify our emotional reactions to saying no and being told no. Not surprising as it is truly intuitive. It is the stuff that you didn’t know you knew!

I took the opportunity to capture the content from that session and create a 30 minute on-line, video based program. It was (and still is) very much a learning experience for me but I satisfied with the result. I am currently making the course available for free and I wanted to let you all be some of the first to experience it. Problem is that at the time of writing it has been live for just 48 hours on and there are already 480 students enrolled! My apologies about that, I just didn’t expect it to be so popular.

I would like you to take the course for free as a thank you for supporting my blog just follow this link: Saying no just isn’t easy

I would love you to check out the content and leave me a review. Let me know what you thought was valuable and what you think I could do to improve the course or add new content. And feel free to share the link with your friends. I have plans for many more courses so I am keen to learn as much as I can from this first one.


If you would like me to come and share with you and your team the insights that come from the experiential learning environments that I create, make me an offer via the Contact Me page.

If you enjoyed reading this or my other posts and you would like to read more, you can subscribe and receive them via email simply by putting your email address into the Email Subscription box just on the right of my blog home page. You will receive a confirmation email (which some systems will think is spam so keep an eye on your junk mail) that you need to acknowledge to complete the subscription process.

After you have subscribed, send this post on to your friends. Go on. You know at least one person who should read this post and three more who could use a bit of shaking up… seriously. Do it now. You read this far so send it on! I promise they won’t judge you or think less of you if you do.


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