Sticky Notes: Reimagine Yes and No

It is crucial to tune in and engage with people when they make a request of you.

All day long, the asks keep coming at you from every direction—from your boss, direct reports, sideways and diagonal colleagues, etc.

Every decision about yes and no is all about opportunity cost:

  • Every bad no is a missed opportunity or a delayed and soured opportunity if the no gets overturned.
  • Every bad yes is a waste of time, energy, and money that will crowd out a better opportunity.
  • Every good no—or not yet—makes room for a better opportunity.
  • Every good yes is a chance to make the most of a good opportunity and serve others by adding value and building your real influence.

Bottom line: Tune in and engage with people when they make requests of you—to improve your yeses and nos.

Bruce Tulgan is a best-selling author and CEO of RainmakerThinking, the management research, consulting, and training firm he founded in 1993. All of his work is based on 27 years of intensive workplace interviews and has been featured in thousands of news stories around the world. His newest book, “The Art of Being Indispensable at Work: Win Influence, Beat Overcommitment, and Get the Right Things Done”( Harvard Business Review Press) is available for purchase from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all major booksellers. Follow Tulgan on Twitter @BruceTulgan or visit his Website at: rainmakerthinking.com.