Sometimes you have to say no

Sometimes you have to say no

Yes and no - two small words that can turn a decision decisively. That can influence interpersonal relationships. And which also have an influence on each of us in our everyday life, in our development and in our character.

Let's look at the world of work. When we ask a colleague for something, we hope to get a yes from them. When we present a new idea in a meeting that we are convinced of, we want a yes from our colleagues and superiors that approves the implementation of this idea.
The same thing happens the other way round: people come to us with a request, with an idea, with an assignment. And we say yes. Sometimes without thinking about it, because some people have such a suggestive nature that we have almost no choice but to agree with them. Or because it is easier in that very moment to end the topic with a short yes. Or because we don't want to refuse our support out of sympathy for our counterpart.
But saying yes is not always the best option, neither for us nor for the situation as a whole.

Work, family, friends, hobbies, a little time for oneself - there are so many things we have to and want to find slots for in one month, one week, one day. We can plan many things, but not everything. Because sometimes a colleague stands before us shortly before the end of work, who still has a small but very important request for us for their project. Or a friend asks us if we can take care of their children at the weekend.

But we all know that our time is limited. Each of us has 24 hours a day at our disposal, during which we can sleep and arrange our commitments as well as private activities. As soon as the to-do list becomes infinite for this finite time, stress arises. First of all pressure for time, because we try to slot the things together in such a way that in the end we do manage everything. Then there is qualitative stress, because time pressure causes us to process many things faster and with less concentration. Results of mediocre quality and dissatisfaction with all participants are often the consequence. But personal stress can also arise, because we don't want to disappoint anyone in our jobs or in our private lives if we suddenly say that we won't make it.

If, in addition to our reasonably fixed program, we also clutter ourselves with the fulfillment of the wishes and requests of others, if we always say yes even though we know that there is no more space, such stress situations are inevitable. In the long run, they can take on much more profound forms than just the selective feeling that we are overstrained. So for our own well-being we have to learn to intersperse a "no" between the many „yes“.

Unfortunately, in most cases man is a being who always looks for the easiest way. In the history of evolution this makes sense at first sight, because a simple, fast way saves resources. To agree to one thing and to say yes is often the simpler way. Easier than to deal with the facts in detail and perhaps form a contrary opinion. Easier than possibly going into confrontation, arguing for and vehemently defending one's own different opinion. After all, you don't want to be a permanent no-man outside the team.

But it is precisely this confrontation that we need in the world of work and business. Not to wear ourselves out against each other and to measure our strengths. On the contrary: to bring things forward together. Sounds paradoxical?
Only when someone has a different opinion in a meeting, in a discussion, is one topic suddenly illuminated by another, namely the perspective of that person. It is possible that other employees may feel driven to spin the new idea further and so a spectral picture develops bit by bit. We see the subject in its complexity, can better separate positive and negative aspects and come to a conclusion that may be diametrically opposed to the initial idea. In the end, this can also mean, for example, that a product strategy is changed because the original idea is no longer considered right in consensus with all the yeses and no‘s of the group.

This is not convenient, because it means in advance that we think about it. That we deal with the matter and develop ideas. This is not quick either, because in addition to the mental preparatory work, change always means that you throw away traditional habits, think and go new ways and refine processes.
But precisely because of this, through new thoughts and new ways, development, progress and innovation arise. For the companies but also for each and every one of us.