Sometimes We Need to Hear 'No'
Most of us sales and business development types don’t like to hear the word “no.” I get it.
But sometimes, us management types need to hear “no.”
Let me explain.
I recently asked our administrative assistant if she would help with a new project. She replied with an emphatic but polite “no.”
The truth is that she was correct in saying “no.” The task really wasn’t part of her job description, and her list of projects and tasks was already more than she had time to handle well.
Sometimes, our teams are afraid to say “no.” I know over the years many people worked in our company that were afraid to say “no" to me. And as a result, we probably have executed many off-track strategies; developed non-essential programs, and have way too many reports, some of which serve no purpose.
But, people aren't just sometimes afraid to say “no.” They can also be hesitant to ever tell me even years later that we are continuing to do things we just shouldn’t be doing.
At first, when she said “no,” I was momentarily frustrated. But, within a few moments I praised her for saying, “no.”
If you are a manager, be sure to give your teams permission to say “no,” and take time to understand the reason for the “no.”
Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know until we hear “no.”