Never Hear The Dreaded “No” Word Again

Tag: * Top Rated,Personal GrowthNeill Gibson

In a recent post I talked about how I try to hear everything as either “please” or “thank you,” and how this supports the quality of communication and connection I have with others, and thereby improves the quality of my relationships.

While that practice provides invaluable support for both my personal and professional relationships, there’s another practice I picked up along the way that fits with it hand-in-glove.No to no sign

Long ago I heard Kelly Bryson, author of Don’t Be Nice, Be Real, ask the question: “Where could you go if you weren’t afraid of ‘no’?”

He points out how many people are prevented from going after what they want in life by their fear of hearing that dreaded word, “NO!”

It’s a good point, and one that I’ve taken to heart. Here’s how the question occurs to me these days…

Where Could You Go If You Never Heard “No”?

What would it take to transform your fear of hearing the word “no” in your most important relationships–intimate, dating, family, work … ? Even better, how would it be if no one ever said “no” to you again?

Well, the easy way to never hear no is by never again asking anyone for anything. But that’s living kind of small isn’t it?

“Well, isn’t it inevitable,” you might ask, “that if you ask people for things that some of them are bound to say ‘no’?”

Here’s the trick–and it’s not really a trick at all.

Never hearing “no” starts by understanding that you never hear what other people say in the first place. Never!

You only hear what your brain tells you that you think they’ve said.

What’s the difference?

I know you believe you understood what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Somewhere I read that the words people use only convey 10% to 20% of the meaning that is intended. Another 20% to 30% is conveyed through intonation, pitch, pacing, etc. of the voice. And the remainder, the bulk of the meaning, is conveyed through facial expression and body language.

Then your own frame of mind gets added in, and your circumstances, and everything else that goes along with the way your brain is influenced in its interpretation.

And here’s where your interpretation gets even more dubious.

The more reactive you are to hearing certain things the more your transparent beliefs, unacknowledged commitments and habitual interpretations are likely to cause you to misinterpret the other person’s intended meaning.

It seems obvious that you never hear what somebody else says, you only hear what your brain has interpreted that they’ve said.

How to Hear “No” as “Yes”

The problem with the word “no” is that it conveys too little information. “No” is actually an expression that a person wants something different than what you’ve requested, but without any explanation of what they do want instead.

That’s why I don’t think there is a more emotionally charged word in the language than the word “no”. It conveys too little information–and we usually fill in the blanks with the worst possible stories.

I’ve come to understand that whenever a person says “no” to something I’ve requested, they’re actually saying “yes” to a different strategy than the one they inferred from my request.

“No” simply means that they prefer a different strategy they believe is more likely to get them what they value or what they need.

The “Yes” Guess Game

So people never say “no” to what you’ve requested. They’re always saying “yes” to something else that they prefer, but they’re not letting you in on what they’re saying “yes” to.

In my mind, negotiation is all about creating alignment in the areas of values and strategies–and in that order.

So, since I can’t hear “no” anymore, my natural inclination is to begin to discover the unexpressed values and strategies that the other person prefers to the ones implicit in my request.

What’s most important for me here is to make sure that wherever we end up in the negotiation, we find strategies that are entirely in harmony with both of our values and that don’t leave anything out that either of us need to be satisfied.

Turning “No” into Know

How to orchestrate such a negotiation is a little bit beyond the scope of one blog post. Simply put, you need to have a conversation that primarily has your attention focused on creating an alignment of your values. Once this alignment has been achieved then, and only then, try work out strategies that will be successful in respecting what everyone wants.

Even without all of the distinctions you may need to have such a conversation, hopefully you’ve gotten the gist of how it might possible that you would never hear “no” again.

Because really “no” is only a poorly expressed “yes.”

(Mmmmm, “Distinctions!” There is a juicy topic…)

Would You Take On This Practice – Yes or No?

Again, I’m interested in hearing your thoughts about the possibility of never hearing “no” again, and what happens the next time you try hearing “yes” instead.

Until next time …

Committed to Your Success,
Neill Gibson


Effective Business Communication – How to Eliminate the Number One Obstacle

Do you wish you had the ability to inspire people into action so they could more easily create greater success and rewarding results? Would you like to know how to foster willing [tag-tec]cooperation[/tag-tec] in ways that everyone enjoys?

Whether you already have good [tag-tec]communication skills[/tag-tec], you’re taking [tag-tec]business communication[/tag-tec] courses and are practicing what you’re learning, or if you realize it’s time to look into new business [tag-tec]communication methods[/tag-tec], this article will help you take your business communication to the next level by learning to create alignment with other people.

What do we mean by alignment, and how can you create it? Read on to find out

Alignment – It’s Not Just for Tires

If you’re like most people, it’s likely that the only time you think about alignment is during your regular car maintenance. While that’s not the “alignment” we’re talking about here, it does operate on the same principle.

In order for your car to function at its best, it’s important that your tires are aligned – that they’re all moving in the same direction. The same is true for any [tag-tec]business relationship[/tag-tec]; they’ll be at their best when the people involved are aligned and moving in the same direction toward a result that is  desired by everyone.

What we’re talking about here is not about improving your communication skills or just learning new [tag-tec]listening techniques[/tag-tec]. Establishing effective business communication, or any interaction where people need to work together to create the best outcome, begins with creating alignment.

Think about it this way: in life, we go about the activity of our lives, heading in our own directions while we’re trying to achieve our own results. At the same time, we are all inter-connected with each other. As we try to achieve the results we want, these interconnections put limits on how far we can go in our direction without the involvement of others.

However, when we have alignment with others about what we want and we start sharing the same vision, it makes it much easier to cooperate with the others involved to get our desired outcomes. Alignment opens the way for mutual satisfaction and greater success.

The First Step is Internal Alignment

Before you can create alignment with someone else, you need to identify and be able to express what’s most important to you about the outcome you want. To do this, you’ll need to identify the underlying [tag-tec]values[/tag-tec] hidden within your desired outcome.

As an example, perhaps your team tends to come lat e to meetings and this impacts your ability to accomplish the objectives of the meeting. So you want everyone in the office to show up 10 minutes before a meeting starts. When you dig down to find the hidden value, you might discover that consideration is very important to you, or you might highly value efficiency and effectiveness. Just remember, within every desired outcome there are values that motivate you to want that in the first place.

Key Points for an Alignment Conversation

Once you identify your own underlying values, it’s time to discover the values that you share within the team, partnership or group. You start this discovery process by expressing the values you’ve identified as important to you in your work environment. Then you ask if those things are also important to the others involved, and if they would be willing to explore ways to create that kind of experience.

As you start the alignment conversation, it’s important to remember to keep it as strategy-free as possible. During this beginning stage, we suggest that you make an agreement with the other person to try and identify what’s important to you about the issue at hand , such as starting meetings on time, before you figure out any strategies to get the specifics of what you want. Once you’ve agreed upon your shared vision, there will be plenty of time to move on to the specifics of how to reach your goals.

It’s also wise if you and the other person, or group, agree to avoid spending time talking about the failures of the past. (Bringing up the past can be useful, but only if it is done to understand the values that may have been missing in the past, but not to assign fault or to justify your skepticism.)

Some other things to include in the alignment conversation include:

  • A willingness to negotiate strategies that are mutually agreeable
  • A commitment to let go of judgments and criticisms
  • An agreement to celebrate all wins that come from this conversation

Putting Alignment Conversations to Work

Alignment conversations are the process of discovering your shared values and creating a shared vision. The [tag-tec]shared vision[/tag-tec] you create might be something like: having a more harmonious working relationships, being more effective, or increasing productivity.

Once you are sharing the same vision, you’re now working toward the same end result — the big picture of what you all want. This will make it easier to create situations that produce results that everyone will enjoy. Once you’ve define your shared vision, you’re ready to effectively [tag-tec]negotiate[/tag-tec] strategies to achieve your desired results.

When everyone is making agreements from a shared vision, you’ll start rolling down the road to cooperation and teamwork with far fewer bumps than you encountered before. Alignment and shared vision are the foundation of cooperation and teamwork that will increase productivity and create rewarding results for everyone involved.

 


Stop Competing… Start Creating!

What’s your perception?

Are you sure it’s a “dog-eat-dog” world and you better “look out for number one” at all costs? What if everyone could get what they want at no one else’s expense? What would the world be like then?

stop competing and start creatingIn most modern culture, competition is encouraged as the best way to get ahead. We’re taught early on that “winning” brings success, while “losing” is a mark of disgrace. But the dilemma is, if one person is winning, then someone else is guaranteed to be losing.

Competition results from the belief that there’s not enough to go around–if others get what they want, I can’t get what I want. While the idea of competition is so deep-seated that it appears to be the that we breathe, luckily that’s not true. We have the choice to behave creatively. In contrast to competition, a creative perspective is based on thinking strategically with the goal of finding options that everyone can be happy with.

“Creativity often consists of merely turning up what is already there.”
~Bernice Fitz-Gibbon

create your own life just the way you want it.Imagine that creating is like having a blank canvas, where you can produce effective communication and craft solutions that will satisfy everyone. Think about how much more enjoyable life would be if everyone was working toward the same goal. With a little practice and effort, we can re-train ourselves to think in terms of creating rather than competing.

Give it a go for yourself…identify a competitive situation in your life and readjust your thinking to view it from a creative perspective. Look for solutions that will satisfy everyone involved and take action toward making them happen.

Remember, the shortest path to a happy life is found through conscious choice.
Until next week…

With Love,

Beth and Neill

To learn more about how to craft creative solutions, read our article:
The Negotiation Dance