How to exercise your “no” muscle

Last week we talked about boundaries.

One of the skills that can help you with honoring your business boundaries is the ability to clearly say no.

Saying “no” is a muscle. Like any muscle, it needs to be exercised to be strong.

Saying “no” is also a gift.

Yes, it’s a gift for yourself, but it’s also a gift for the other person.

Think back to a time where someone seemed interested in your service or product.

Maybe you asked them if they were interested in more information or purchasing.

If they said “not right now” or “maybe later” then you reached out to them again later.

If they said “this isn’t something I’m interested in” or “no” then you didn’t reach out to them again.

When they clearly said “no” you didn’t spend any more of your time reaching out to them.

The same thing happens you’re able to clearly and confidently say no to something you know you’re not interested in. That person no longer reaches out to see if your answer is going to change (saving them time) and you don’t have to spend your time answering the question again.

So, only say “not right now” or “maybe later” when it’s true.

There’s a group that has reached out two or three times to ask me to join. I honestly might be interested later, but now’s not the time. I tell them that and I expect that I’ll be asked about it again in another year or so.

Here’s a quick “how to say no” guide:

  1. Be brief.
    You don’t need to explain everything that went into making your decision. You can say “That doesn’t work with my schedule” or “That’s not the right fit for me.”
    Or saying no can be as simple as saying “No”.
  2. Be honest.
    Don’t make something up to get out of something.  You’ll both feel better about it later and you don’t have to keep track of fibs.
  3. Say “No”.
    Seems straight forward right?
    Remember phrases like “I think that” or “right now” or “I’m not sure” make the other person think you might change your mind later. 
    Be clear with your response and let them know you’re not interested.
  4. Repeat. 
    Even when you’re clear with someone, they might ask you again later to see if anything has changed. 
    Be kind and let them know the answer hasn’t changed.

If this topic feels like it’s impacting you personally, and you’d like some help, let’s talk! The easiest way to set that up is by applying for coaching by clicking here.