The inevitable no

Don't ignore a request. Explain your motives.

In any culture NO is not an easy word to use when being asked to do something. It might look that when we say I can’t, I do not know, I haven’t that information, I won’t be able to do it, we don’t sell this product, won’t deliver on time, … we will not be asked again, will not be considered.


Well, that depends. It depends on how do we say no.

  • Do you explain the objective reasons why you are not accepting to a job? Why you can’t commit?
  • Are you giving alternatives to your speaker? Are you able to redirect him so he can find the appropriate service?
  • Are you telling them that there is no business case for you?
  • I can’t bring down the price. This is what the service costs.
  • If it’s a time issue, do you give a realistic delivery time? Not now, I am too busy but I could do it in 2 months.

Or just a cold… NO, I can’t?

And, as in others posts… as important as the “how” is the “WHEN“.

  • Do you say no without even hearing all the request?
  • Are you giving a Yes for an answer just to postpone the final inevitable no? Are you awaiting the other to just get tired and stop asking about the request?
  • Is your answer a: “Let me see..” and after that, radio silence?

There is no big deal (well, if you are talking to someone who doesn’t accept a no for an answer… maybe he/she will have an issue) for giving a no for an answer. Expectations need to be calibrated.

We say no, we give explanations, alternatives, reasons. We are doing all the best we can. And it’s paid-off with long term relationships. Those who didn’t do business some time ago, will come back when you fit their needs. Because you listened, understood, balanced expectations and gave alternatives.

No, is not a bad thing to say. And it’s not easy. But in the end it builds more than it destroys. Creates a base for trust.


A post about Time management is.. coming soon!!!

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