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Say No More

Say No More

The antithesis of Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes, Lena Dunham (Girls creator) recently told LinkedIn readers she’ll say no more this year…

Don’t Take it Personally When I Tell You “No.” I’m Using it On Everyone This Year

Are you suffering from the “when I say no I feel guilty” syndrome? Do you think you might benefit from a pledge similar to Lena’s? Do you know how to say no to work requests? Might you be saying no more at work if you were practicing it at home? Or do you believe what Austin Kleon cleverly expressed,

It’s good advice for the rich and famous. Creative people say yes until they have enough work that they can say no.

Universal Way to Say No

There are so many different ways to say no, yet I found (on a bad day find!) most of them challenging. For me learning to say no at work started by way of slowing down my yeses. The next step for how to say no nicely in business was using formulas (like this hysterical collection). Recently I encountered this Alexandra Franzen formula for how to say no in a positive way that feels fairly universal…

Hey [name],

Thanks for your note.

I’m so proud of you for ___—and I’m flattered that you’d like to bring my brain into the mix.

I need to say “no,” because ___.

But I would love to support you in a different way.

[Offer an alternative form of support here]

Thank you for being such a wonderful ___. I am honored to be part of your world.

[A few closing words of encouragement, if you’d like]

[Your name here]

I’ve even grown to leave out the alternative support on occasion.

I think it’s true that saying no takes practice. Yet, as Lena pointed out in her article,

…meeting a deadline wasn’t the reason I was loved or not loved, respected or not respected…life didn’t have to be an endless jog to accommodate all the Yes’s.

How about you? What other ways to say no come to mind?

Thanks for the photo, Mark Falardeau.
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