Learning To Say “No” (Part 8) – Developing Guidelines For Saying “No”

by Patrick Liew on January 4, 2011

It is important to develop guidelines for saying “No.” They help me to say “No” in a positive way.

They include the following:

1. Be Firm 

It is important that I clearly say “No” to the other party. I have to ensure that he understands the certainty of my decision.

At no point in time should I give him the feeling that I may change my mind at a later stage. I also do not want him to feel that I’m leading him on, or delaying him in any way.

I have to do it firmly but in a sympathetic way. There is no need to sound apologetic or defensive, neither should I harbour a false sense of guilt or remorse.

2. Be Courteous

There are no reasons why I should not be courteous when I say “No.” I should do it professionally, gently and politely.

3. Be Honest  

I should always be honest when I say “No” to a request. I should never lie or come out with excuses to reject the request.

If I don’t tell the truth, it may lead to more problems at a later stage.

4. Keep It Short And Simple (K.I.S.S.) 

It’s always good to go straight to the point, be brief, and clear with my words. There is no need to elaborate or add ‘fluff’ to complicate the message.

5. Be Positive  

I make it a point to respect the other party’s request. If need be, I will compliment him sincerely and show my appreciation for his cause. I will also send him my heartfelt wishes for good success.

6. Communicate Clearly  

There are people who are persistent in persuadeing me to say “Yes.” I need to be more persistent in repeating my decision.

I may also have to recommunicate my message and probably in a different way to ensure that the other party receives my message clearly.

At all times, I will remain calm and be polite.

7. Seek Counsel 

It’s always a good thing to seek wise counsel before making a commitment. In doing so, it will also give me more time to deliberate over the decision and bounce your idea with a wiser person.

Using the above guidelines, I will be in a better position to make a wise decision. I will be able to say “No” more effectively and efficiently.


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 apply the above guidelines for saying “No?”


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