What if you just said “No”?

I’m not sure why, but I have been the trigger person for most of my career.  The gunslinger brought in to say, No.  Human Resource professionals are frequently referred to as The Fashion Police (that skirt is too short), The Personal Hygiene Moderator (deodorant is a necessity), Policy Patrol (insubordination IS grounds for termination) and, worst of all, the b-word.  So why can’t everyone else draw a line in the sand? I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve asked myself that.  They are in avoidance

It’s so much easier to bring someone else in to say No.  You can stay at arm’s length, point the finger and, in essence, say, “This wasn’t my decision”.  Let someone else be the trigger person and stay clear of the wake.

Try taking a giant step forward and say No. Here are the reasons why you should:

1. Respect.  People pay attention to those who pull the trigger once in a while.  You earn the reputation for being someone who has a backbone and stands up for their principles.  People want you on their team when they know you can be counted on to make the tough decisions even if they are unpopular.

2. Honest.  We’ve all known people who are brown-noses.  How many corporate projects have you been party to that went in the wrong direction because no one in the crowd wanted to say No.  Earning the reputation for being candid takes a few No sayings. I’m not advocating just blurting out No but a well-polished, properly crafted No will increase your authenticity.

3. Less Bunkum.  I had to look up that one up in the thesaurus to keep this polite.  When you get the promotional phone calls for a vacation getaway; don’t hang up.  Say No and take my number off your list.  Disingenuous people stay away from No sayers.  They move on to fawn over someone else who doesn’t mind swimming in bunkum.

4. Relief.  Unresolved conflict can fester.  Be the one to step forward and make the decision.  Do you really want to be up at 3 AM worrying about how you tell the PTA that you want off the committee?  When you have given that well-crafted No; you’ll be sleeping like a baby.

5. Empowerment.  Saying No is gratifying.  You can look yourself in the mirror and know that you stood up for something; you stood up for your beliefs.  It might have been difficult (it almost always is uncomfortable…messy even) but once you get past the No, your self confidence will be rebooted.

6. Culture.  No one likes co-workers who get away with clocking in late, not pulling their weight, constantly stepping over the line that no one else would dare to cross.  That crowd; the group at large.  They are rooting for you.  They want you to pull the trigger.  Be the gunslinger for the 95% who are pulling their weight.  Raise the tide for the culture of your company.

It’s not easy.  But you need to do it.  Be the go-to gunslinger.  Everyone is waiting for you to be a No sayer.  Draw a line in the sand.

6 thoughts on “What if you just said “No”?

  1. Maryann Crusoe

    Yes. You are right on. This is good advice for anyone in any situation. Mostly liked ‘Choose your battles And your words wisely’,

    Like

  2. Gerald Jones

    You are right Cathy, you know we experience this all the time as a HR professional. Sometimes you have to draw the line.

    Like

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