Saying Yes or No? Exercise Your Power of Choice

Maybe Yes No Keys Representing DecisionsOn a daily basis, we are all faced with making yes or no decisions that lead to certain consequences. With today’s many distractions and demands, it is easy to react quickly without first thinking through the implications. Are you making conscious responses that align with your commitments and goals?

For example, one client I was working with wanted to say “no” to committing to weekly one-on-one meetings with a new direct report. My client did not feel she had the time to commit to another meeting due to competing priorities.  Plus, she wanted to accept a complex project that would increase her professional development.

During our coaching sessions we discussed the impact of her committing to weekly one-on-ones and how it might serve her, the direct report, and the overall department. My client soon realized it was her responsibility to provide support and direction to her direct report to help her be successful. She understood that saying “no” would negatively impact her as well as her direct report. My client also recognized that saying “yes” to meeting more often might eliminate some of the frustration she was feeling as her direct report was challenging her on requests while missing deadlines.

As a result of our discussion, my client committed to weekly one-on-ones with her new direct report to increase her competency in specific tasks. The “yes” response supported the direct report’s growth and development that led to the accomplishment of departmental goals. Over a period of time, the direct report needed less and less support and direction from her manager. This allowed my client more time to take on a complex project to increase her own growth and development.

How about you? Are you thinking through the implications before you say yes or no? Below are a few questions to ask yourself prior to making a knee-jerk decision.

  • Who will benefit from this decision?
  • What am I not going to be able to do if I say yes or no?
  • Will this decision help me accomplish my goals or will it take time away from my efforts in reaching my goals?
  • How much time will I need to invest?

What situations have you said yes or no to recently? Are the decisions you make increasing your leadership effectiveness? YOU have the power of choice to make conscious, informed decisions.

About the Author

Terry WatkinsTerry Watkins is a coaching solutions partner with The Ken Blanchard Companies Coaching Services team. Since 2000, Blanchard’s 130 coaches have worked with over 14,500 individuals in more than 250 companies throughout the world. Learn more at Blanchard Coaching Services. And check out Coaching Tuesday every week at Blanchard LeaderChat for ideas, research, and inspirations from the world of executive coaching.

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