I have a client that always says “You’re not allowed to say NO to me. Furthermore, she won’t allow any of her staff to say NO.  Not to anyone!

What she expects from her team are questions that clarify; some form of negotiation; or an offer to find a better solution.

Apparently there are some words that are far more acceptable than NO, for instance:

  • could you please clarify?
  • what do you think?
  • can we just go over that point again?
  • would it be possible to?
  • can we revisit that point later?

All this because saying NO to people can:
– produce negative feelings;
– create bad working relationships; and
– limit innovation, growth and potential.

So instead of saying NO to everyone she expects them to focus on finding solutions to problems rather than saying NO we cant do this or that etc.

It’s only as a last resort, when all options have been exhausted, and you really are unable to reach agreement, that you have to face the fact that there are times, in the final analysis, that NO may be the final response.

If you need some help to produce similarly constructive team dynamics you know a man who can help.