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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Learn to Say No – 6 Easy Tips (guest post)

A few months ago, I received a business pitch. It was from an acquaintance I was on good terms with, and the pitch was based on something we verbally discussed and agreed on in the past. However, sometime had passed since our last conversation, and things had changed.
I was no longer keen on the opportunity, but didn’t quite know how to put it across to him. I didn’t want to jeopardize our relationship and any potential future working opportunities because of this. So I procrastinated in replying to the mail. I put it into a “reply later” folder and got on to other stuff.
Every few days when I check my folder, it’d be there, and I’d think “Ah I’ll reply this later.  I wondered if he would be angry knowing that I had changed my stance. At times I contemplated not replying at all, but I thought it wouldn’t be appropriate, especially since we knew each other and we had a common friend too.
Finally one day, I decided to get on with it and reply to the mail. I typed out the mail, and crafted it a few words at a time. In it, I apologized for my delayed reply, and at the same time truthfully explained my situation and that I had no plans to take up the opportunity anymore. After reading it through, I clicked “Send” and hoped for the best.
Within 10 minutes of sending the mail, I got a reply, much to my surprise. It was early in the morning (8ish) and I didn’t think that he would be in the office. The reply was very amiable. He said there was no worries at all, and he wished me a great year ahead in the meantime. Just like that. And it was done.
Have you ever had to say no before and feel conflicted about doing so? Many times we make a big deal out of saying “no”, afraid that we will be committing a hideous crime by saying. In our minds, we are scared that the other people will be angry, that we will be loathed on, that we’ll be deemed as making things difficult for others. The thing is, many of these thoughts are self-created, and not real.
Saying no really is a prerogative, and shouldn’t be as difficult as we make it out to be. It’s about learning how to do so. Here are 6 simple tips how you can learn to say no:


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