Learning To Say “No” (Part 7) – Preempting And Preventing Invalid Requests

by Patrick Liew on January 3, 2012

As the maxim goes, ‘Prevention is better than cure.’ I can nip a request at its bud by preempting and preventing it from being raised.

It is better to pre-empt a request and make the other party know that I am not available or unable to fulfill the request. This will prevent negative outcomes.

Example: At the beginning of a meeting, tell the other attendees, “I have just signed a contract to complete a major project before the end of the month. I will have to put in my time and best effort so as to beat the deadline and do a good job.”

In such a case, I may have to communicate the significance of the project that I am currently involved in. I may share why I will not be available and the difficulties involved in overstretching myself.

I should not come across as being apologetic or defensive. The other party will be more understanding and feel less rejected. They also cannot take offence as I cannot stretch myself to take on new commitments.

It is also important that I list the situations where it is hard to say “No.” I have to preempt them and prevent myself from saying “Yes” unnecessarily.

On a bigger picture, I have to decide what I will or will not accept or do in my life. Eg. I will not lend money or books. I will then have to live by my commitments.

In addition, I have also decided to eliminate what I believe is unnecessary in my life. For example, I have decided I don’t need to watch television to live my life properly.

By deciding what I don’t want in my life, it has freed me to live more productively and achieve better outcomes in my life.

When it comes to responding to other people’s requests, it is important that I manage their expectations of me.

If I focus on being popular and nice, there will be people who will take me for granted or take advantage of me.

When people know that I am a man-with-a-mission, I’m in a better position to be assertive. It’s easier to say “No” if they know I am focused on a worthy cause and in fulfilling an altruistic task.

I have to learn how to communicate the message clearly to the people around me. I have to educate them on how we can work together for a higher good.

When I take a more proactive approach, it will help me evaluate how requests can fit in the plan and priorities of life. I will not be caught in the heat of a moment and potentially make a rash decision.
I will be able to take the right action rightly.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Visit my Inspiration blog at http://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

Think: How can I preempt and prevent invalid requests?


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