One Yes = One No

For every yes you give, you are saying no to something else

I walked into the room to join the afternoon strategy session. My friend, who had been in the a.m. training portion, greeted me and immediately shared her ah-ha of the day – the statement above.

I’ve been thinking about it since. Why did the statement about every yes having a no get my attention? For one, I’m not sure I’ve ever thought about it quite like that. And for another, the statement seems to have, the more I dwell on it, the weight of a principle.

And then, only as I decided to write about this, it hit me. Something happened at the end of that afternoon strategy session – something that left me feeling very uncomfortable. I was awakened later that very night by this discomfort. I lay there and thought about how I was feeling and decided I needed to put a name on it. I too often do that.

As I thought about the event of that afternoon, my mind took me to other events and issues where I had felt the same discomfort during this year. That seemed odd until the label I was seeking appeared … disrespect.

In a few of my involvements, things have happened where I’ve felt disrespected. The details are not relevant at this point, but the connection is. And the question surfaced:

Could it be that saying yes without consciously acknowledging the corresponding no be a major contributor to my feeling of being disrespected?

I think the answer is yes. And this causes me to ask why. While in some of these situations someone was behaving with a lack of respect – at least in my own perception – I believe the cause of my feelings was self-inflicted … meaning – my ability to control my reaction was weakened by the no-after-no that I’ve let stack against me. I’ve said yes without saying a no in some other area.

I’ve worn down my own resistance, my ability to skillfully address difficult/challenging situations. I normally do this in a manner that follows careful listening, non-judgmental assessment, and honest, articulated reflection of what I’ve heard.

Denying myself the energy of a strategically placed ‘no’ has drained my energy with no respective event to recharge. 

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This entry was posted in 21st Century Skills by Jeff Brunson. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jeff Brunson

In this whirling 21st Century the individual needs to embrace the authentic self and confidently leverage the energy and power found there. As we entered the 21st Century, I became more concerned about what leaders like you needed for successful influence and personal fulfillment. As we move deeper into this challenging 21st Century, I’m more convinced than ever that the core of my work is in helping individual leaders remember who they are − a trueness. It is about confidence found in your authenticity.

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