There is something about the word “No” which makes it sound almost negative and people tend to take it personally. I wonder why?
Is it because we think someone disagrees with us? – But then, it’s OK if someone disagrees with you. As long as you can be mature, respect each other’s viewpoint and conclude by agreeing to disagree
Is it because we think someone challenges us? – But then, it’s OK to be challenged. How else can you get further clarity on your thoughts and express your solid point of view?
Is it because we associate it with something which is not in favor? – But then, it’s OK if everything is not always in our favor
Is it because we relate it to something / someone which was unpleasant? – But then, that’s OK. We can’t always have everything pleasant with everyone
Is it because it reminds us of our parents who kept saying “No” all through childhood? – But then, that’s OK too as they probably said it in our best interest
Some tips / advice / suggestions on usage of “No”:
• Every time you find yourself going to say “No”, just pause for a minute and reflect on how you want to communicate your message
• Try not to start a sentence with “No…”. Majority of the times, I’ve seen that a listener will lose interest / shut off / get defensive / get offensive. Use alternates instead. For e.g.: “I have an alternate point of view…”. You are more likely to get a hearing.
• Be aware of the associated non-verbal language that you use when you say “No” – Your facial expression, body language – They tend to give away more than you want to many times
• Be firm, but yet polite when you say “No”
• And then if there is a time that you simply have to use the word “NO” – big, loud and clear, then just use it!!