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  • Kick Ass Zombie Hunter

The Power of No

A bird breaking free from a bird cage.

When you think about the word “no” it holds significant power. We’ve been conditioned to think that the word “no” is bad and that someone is pushing back against us. In the hands of a leader, it can both allow you to redirect your efforts elsewhere, and potentially cause upset to the person receiving that ‘no’. What ends up happening is that this word gets misused, misunderstood and often leaders’ reluctance to using it altogether.

Although it may be tempting to support everyone and agree to everything, there are always consequences for these actions. For every yes, there is a no. For every no, there is a yes somewhere else.

As a leader, you shouldn’t be saying yes to everything that’ comes your way. Instead consider guiding your team towards finding solutions, developing new habits, or delegating to a team member that is looking for a shift in tasks and someone who embraces change and variety.

Before you starting rhyming off the response ‘no’ you also have to understand how to deliver it without being demoralizing for your team. It entails listening, seeking clarification, providing a sound explanation for saying no and please, don’t drag it out.

As a leader, you cannot carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. You’re a human after all, and we only have so many hours in a day and only have so much capacity to deliver on our responsibilities. When you learn to say no, you may even just be creating an opportunity for a team member to say yes.


A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. What positives can come from understanding and using the word no?

  2. What are things you could/should say no to and what would that free up to say yes to?

  3. What can we do as a team to support others feeling comfortable saying no?


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