Why Leaders Need to Learn to Say No
By Reclaiming Leadership on June 16, 2011
No. It is a complete sentence. It is necessary to have a great life. It is crucial to learn this sentence if you are a leader. Yet, it can be one of the hardest things to say because we worry what other people will think. To be a leader, you need to do what is in the highest good, not the "feel good" or "head in the sand" answer. Learn why you need to say no and how to do so more effectively.
Saying “No” is hard because we don’t just say the word, we burden it with other – unsaid – emotional baggage on both the sayer’s and receiver’s part. When most people say and hear “No”, they tend to pack all kinds of other things into those two little letters that go something like this: Your idea sucks/My idea sucks. You’re wasting my time/I’m a terrible employee. Have you done anything useful lately?/I’m a waste-cadet.
But it doesn’t have to be that way and powerful leaders and managers know how to use the Art of No in ways that leave the listener feeling useful, appreciated and inspired. Note, I didn’t say “good”. It’s not a leader’s job to make everyone feel good, it’s to move the organization forward, get the job done and help grow employees as productive and inspired contributors to the teams’ success. And to do this, they learn to say “No” gracefully, and say it often.
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Credit Image: marc_falardeau via Flickr
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