“A ‘No’ uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a ‘Yes” merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.” … Mahatma Gandhi
I just finished reading “The Power of a Positive No” by William Ury. The author addresses a problem that blocks clear and open communication in all relationships: how to use the tiny two letter word [no] effectively.
According to Ury, the great gift of “no” allows us to create what we want, protect what we value and change what no longer works.
Ury believes that at the heart of the difficulty in saying No is the tension that exists between exercising your power and tending to your relationship. Exercising your power may strain a relationship, whereas tending to your relationship may weaken your power.
To help readers evaluate their response patterns to requests, demands, confrontations and expectations, Ury offers a simplified three step check list which he calls the “Three-A Trap”:
• Accommodate mode: We say yes when we want to say “no”.
• Attack mode: We say “no” poorly
• Avoid mode: We say nothing at all
Personally, while I now rarely get caught in the “Three-A Trap” – I can say no - sometimes I may fret about whether a response might hurt someone’s feelings. This book reminds me to switch focus to what I’m saying “yes” to:
• Yes! to who I want to be
• Yes! to speaking what is deeply true for me
• Yes! to honoring my Self.
What’s interesting is that once you find the burning “yes,” it is also easier to deliver the positive “no”.
The Power of a Positive No takes you through the stages of preparing for a positive no, delivering a positive no and how to follow through.
I highly recommend it!
Are there books that you would recommend on this or a related topic? I’d love to hear from you.