Word-Of-the-Week #647: NO

December 29, 2016 by  

NOused to express refusal, denial, disbelief, emphasis, or disagreement.

How are you holding up this Holiday Season? Do you feel like there are too many social obligations? Do you feel guilty just thinking about saying NO to someone?

This from Sarita Maybin, my good friend and fellow speaker, seemed perfect timing for this week’s WOW. She is the author of “If You Can’t Say Something Nice, What Do You Say?”

Say NO Nicely

My favorite ways to say NO fall into the three categories below. Choose the phrases–or a combination of phrases–that work best for you! (Note: Avoid making excuses)

  1. Compliment + NO
  • “I appreciate your thinking of me; however I’m going to opt out.”
  • “Thanks for the opportunity; however I’m not able to pursue it.”
  • “This sounds like a great project, yet I won’t be able to participate.
  • “I’m flattered that you’d ask me out, but I’m going to pass.”
  • “Thank you, but my plate is full.”
  1. Empathy + NO
  • “I know you need help with this, however I’m not available.”
  • “I wish I could assist you, however I’m not able to.”
  • “I’m not able to attend, but would love to help in another way.”
  • “I know you’re swamped with work, unfortunately I’m not able to help.”
  • “You’ve worked hard on this committee; however I won’t be able to join.”
  1. “Choose” to say NO
  • “I’ve chosen to pass on that offer.”
  • “That’s not on my radar right now.”
  • “That doesn’t work for me.”
  • “I’m not feelin’ it.”
  • “It’s not calling me.”

(By the way, category #3 also works well when someone replies with WHY!???  You say: “That just doesn’t work for me.” or “I’m just not feelin’ it.”)

Guilt-Free YES

  • If you must say YES, do it without guilt…set conditions and parameters that work for you!
  • “I’d be happy to get that info to you, if can wait until tomorrow”
  • “Boss, I’d love to get that project done for you.  Please let me know its priority in relation to the other assignments”
  • “I’ll get that done for you as soon as I finish what I’m working on.”

This week’s focus is on saying NO nicely. How comfortable is it for you to say NO? How many times have you wished you said NO and didn’t? Can you see yourself saying NO without any guilt?

For more information on saying NO nicely, read Chapter 5: An Offer You Can Refuse, in Sarita’s book  “If You Can’t Say Something Nice, What DO You Say?”

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