Yes-men (and women) get a bad rap.
In the working world the person who says yes all of the time is accused of being another cog in the wheel who blindly follows the way of the leader without considering his or her own purpose or values.
From a personal perspective, you can get in trouble if you say yes too much. Your plate may fill up too fast and you may get involved with things that don’t align with where you are going or what you value.
I myself was once accused of being a yes-man. An employee of mine told me I was saying yes too much, taking on too much, and that I needed to push back on our clients and my leadership because they don’t know what they are doing. They are too far removed, she would advise me.
I took this to heart. I didn’t see myself as a yes-man. …I am a challenger of the status-quo. I don’t believe in average. I believe in playing bigger and pushing boundaries. And I am a creative innovator. Or, am I?
For three years, I doubted. I questioned myself every time I said yes – to anything.
I soon realized the best relationships and partnerships are best built from a starting place of yes.
I am a yes-man, but I strategically leverage starting from a place of yes to get to win-win scenarios. Not to mention, I just flat out like win-win. Win-lose depresses me. I’m not in the business of creating losers. I want to surround myself with winners.
I understand the perspective and I see why some people may think that it is bad to be a yes-man.
Here’s the sort of thing that can happen when we practice no first – we:
- Say no to your bosses because you know what is better.
- Say no to going to the park with your kids because there is dinner to cook.
- Say no to a night out with girlfriends because you are too tired.
- Say no to your dreams because you don’t know how you’ll get there.
- Say no to your purpose and your vision for a better life because you have bills to pay now.
Yeah – Saying no sounds like total bliss. (Catch my sarcasm?)
The reality: there has to be a balance.
Get in the habit of saying no and eventually no takes over, squashes your dreams, isolates you from the people that want to see you succeed, and leaves little room for win-win solutions.
Whether you are thinking about this concept in terms of your personal life, your business, your career, or your relationships, here’s how to strike a better balance:
- Start with saying yes to yourself, your dreams, and your living life.
- Get clear on your priorities so you have swim lanes to operate within. For example, my priorities are my family and my business right now.
- Know your values. Again, these provide swim lanes. I value freedom, authenticity, and success.
- Understand your beliefs, they will guide you. More on that here.
- Make a no thank you list. Like I said, balance is needed. If something that randomly comes up doesn’t align with your priorities, your values, or your belief system, put it on the no-nay-never list.
Get clear on the above and you’ll have a context to operate within. When you know what swim lanes you are operating within, you can say “yes” to others and come to agreements that are mutually beneficial.
Instead of being a nay-sayer you’ll be poised to develop win-win solutions all over the place.
In fact, they will likely begin to m a g i c a l l y appear. They may go a little something like this:
- Say yes to your boss. You do know what is better and you can get them to their solution and your solution with creative thinking.
- Say yes to going to the park with your kids because these are moments you will forever cherish and you can order pizza for dinner.
- Say yes to getting enough sleep so you can go out with girlfriends to celebrate their big birthdays.
- Say yes to your dreams and know you will get there. Believe it, because our thoughts become our reality.
- Say yes to your purpose and your vision because they will help you achieve wealth and success beyond your wildest dreams.
When I returned to my natural state of saying yes, a world of opportunity reopened to me.
What are you going to say yes to? Let me know in the comments below!
Commit to Play Bigger in 2012
Get clear on your purpose, values, beliefs, swim lanes and action plan in Play Bigger 2012. Join me on an 8 week journey to uncover your bliss, bring more happiness into your life, push through the fear, and start playing bigger. This is the first time I’m offering this program in this way so you’ll be able to take advantage of extra TLC in this pilot program at an introductory rate – plus everyone who signs up will receive a copy of Danielle Laporte’s new book The Fire Starter Sessions. You want it. At the end of this program you’ll be so rockin’ your friends will want what you are having! Not limited to better relationships, more happiness, raises, promotions, and business results.