1 minute reading time (288 words)

Say “No” But Don’t Take “No”

Be able to say “no,” but don’t take “no” for the answer. First, understand that “no” is the standard answer or response from peers, bosses, and subordinates to test or challenge you, sometimes out of laziness, sometimes for reasons of budget and time.

“No” is a complete sentence, but it isn’t a complete answer. Don’t take it as a matter of course if you believe that it could, or should, be otherwise.

“No” doesn’t always mean “no,” nor do nada, nein, nyet, not now, not ever, no way, negative, never ever, not as long as I live, over my dead body, not even if hell freezes over, not only no but hell no. More often than not it means, “maybe” or “I’m not sure.” Unless you come back and fight for it, your opponents figured they were right.

So take “no” and go on. If you ask for something and are told “no,” accept it; then ask for something different:

“Can you donate $500 million to the new college of business building?”


“Can you buy two tickets for the fundraiser next month?”

“Well, sure.”

The above example is not ‘apples and apples,’ I know. Still, taking “no” is acceptable for some people, but it doesn’t have to be for you. If you get “no,” figure the person you are speaking with just didn’t understand and you have to explain another way.

My point is to keep trying, without being tedious, without just giving up. Ask 3 (or 13) times and in 3 (or 13) different ways before you even consider giving up. When people learn that you only redouble your efforts when you are told “no,” you will get them trained to just saying “yes” right away.

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Tuesday, 11 December 2018