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  • Writer's pictureLeslie Nydick

Start With Yes to Say No

When you start with no, the rest of your statement will probably not be heard.


Instead, start with yes, it will invite one to listen more.


For example.

> Question: Can you finish that report by tomorrow morning?

> Version 1 Response: No, I am too busy.

> Version 2 Response: Yes, and let’s talk about how to reprioritize my other projects.


The first version stops the discussion. When the listener hears no, they hear defiance, they stop listening, and they don’t know the impact on your other work.


The second version invites a discussion. Starting with yes invites the listener to hear the rest of your statement.

What to remember:

> When you start with no, people will hear disagreement and it stops communication.

> Start with yes and that will invite a collaborative dialogue.


When you are thinking “no,” pause to determine how you can first say “yes.”



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