Advertising
Advertising

Why Saying No Ain’t Selfish: The Art Of Saying No More Often

Why Saying No Ain’t Selfish: The Art Of Saying No More Often

All through life, I’m ingrained with the pursuit to always be giving and be the helping hand. I comply, and always are ready to resolve issues for many. And it feels great to be able to be all serving. I am special and important in my circles. I have solutions for any problem. ‘Thank you’s’ echo continuously and many reflect how they would just not have been able to achieve without me. Words that affirm my worth and value.

Around the same time, many are laying out their current misfortunes and problems at my feet, in the perceived notion is that I will be always available to help out. But actually I have more goals ahead for my writing career that I truly desire. I need to balance my time and energy for others, while hoping to do more what I truly want to do.

Eventually, it starts to chain me down. The realization first hit me after I had left the motions of nine to five circles of life, out of the comfort zones of settling bills and filling the fridge each month. My personal productivity is down sliding and slipping out of my warm helping hands!

Advertising

Saying “No” Is Not Selfish, It’s Reality

Successful entrepreneurs are aware that their biggest downfalls are not saying ‘no’. Bypassing everyday urgencies and focusing on important issues starts with a simple skill and a small change by learning how to say’ no’

Everyday life is engorged with deadlines, family responsibilities, and social engagements, time ticks away. That is why learning how to say no regularly may just be the ultimate solution. Appreciate yourself and your own time. You need to realign, restore and recalibrate you. Many times,we sacrifice ourselves to please others.

Experience has thought me the crown of success cannot always come with being on standby emotionally and physically for all in need, as I will need fuel to spread my wings to the next mission on hand. This is not mean or selfish, it is a reality. Your personal goals are the priority and by time and energy to accomplish others goals instead of others your own you hinder your own growth.

Advertising

If you are unhappy and grumpy as your valuable time ticks away and opportunities bounce away, you become less of a commodity and your self-worth diminishes. You feel exhausted and inadequate. By focusing on ‘you’, success, motivation, and happiness will allow you to pass those features on to others.

Learn the Difference Between “I Can’t ” And “I Don’t “

Saying no is never easy, but envision it as an opportunity for you to let go. Many are in fear of appearing to be rude and do not want to let other people down that can sprout out in conflicts and bridges that might be burned. These are misconceptions as it is all about the manner the ‘no’ is delivered in, it is about value and respect for your space and for your time.

Heidi Grant Halvorson[1], the director at the Columbia University Motivation Science Center, noted the difference between the term “I don’t”  in comparison to I can’t. ‘

Advertising

“I can’t ” becomes a psychological draining method to say no, while ” I don’t ”  is psychologically empowering.

Researchers at the University of Houston[2] found volunteers who used the  “I don’t skip exercise” instead of saying  “I can’t skip exercise” dedicated more time to personal workouts. When you say ” I can’t “, it implies that you are not able to do it even if you might want to engage in something. It implies that you could if the circumstances differed. When you say ” I don’t “, you affirm that you have set a rule and there can be no debate about your decision. “I don’t ” is self-affirmation of personal willpower and will have a positive influence on self-empowerment.

These are not just phrases or words.They affirm your beliefs and serve as reminders of your plans and reasons why you do what you do. Become an architect of the words you choose when saying no.

Advertising

Say No with Authenticity and Respect

When someone we are close that need help, we immediately agree and many times are not realistic about the time commitments. This will lead to frustration, burnout, and resentment, and will be a misfortune. When you are uninterested, focus on being authentic and not just adhere to trying to maintain ‘likeability’. By saying no, you are actually giving out the power of self-reliance. If you are not ready to help the person out, they will find a way to sort out the issue themselves. Learning comes from finding a solution. Try to say these:

  • I am engaged with something else now and this is not a good time. We can see if it is possible at a later stage.
  • I will consider it and  let you know
  • I will not be the best person who can achieve this, I recommend…
  • I cannot commit to anything else right now as my priorities are set in for the moment

Let Go. You Can’t Please Everyone.

There will be people that oust you for saying no. Let go. Your true connections will understand your standpoint. You cannot please everyone. You have to help yourself and build positive energy and once you have achieved that, then, the energy can be shared. However, this is not possible if you are always trying to help others and leaving no spare time for yourself. This will not result in a positive outcome for you or the person you are attempting to help.

Practice saying no. Make it a mindful exercise. You will feel guilty initially but once you acknowledge the feeling and address the matter with respect to the other person, you will soon be conscious of the power of ‘no’. You always have a choice and if the matter at hand does not ignite your spirit, do not do it. Start spending moments to do what you want and lesser time drowning in what you do not want.

Featured photo credit: Tree trunk : Just say No via pixabay.com

Reference

[1] I Don’t” versus “I Can’t”: When Empowered Refusal Motivates Goal-Directed Behavior, JSTOR
[2] “I Don’t” versus “I Can’t”:
When Empowered Refusal Motivates Goal-Directed Behavior, Research Paper

More by this author

Nena Tenacity

Screenwriter ∕ Filmmaker

Here Are 30+ Easy High Fibre Breakfast Ideas You Can Try At Home How To Fight Inflammation? Ginger And Other Foods That Can Cure Inflammation! A Wholesome Diet Is What You Need to Gain Happiness: 30 Natural Low-Carb Foods 10 Best Healthy Snacks That Even Gym People Eat When They’re Hungry! Want A Quick Yet Healthy Breakfast? Avocado Toast Is Your New Breakfast Idea

Trending in Communication

1 15 Inspiring Ideas to Boost Your Motivation for Success 2 How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success 3 How to Turn Your Fear of Missing Out into a Joy of Missing Out 4 What Is Resilience and Why Is It Important? 5 Positive Motivation vs Negative Motivation: Which One Is Better?

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

Advertising

Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

Advertising

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

Advertising

3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

Advertising

5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

Read Next