Looking for “no”


Raise your hand if you’ve dealt with someone who won’t take yes for an answer. If it was you, keep your hand up until the end of the post. After last night’s entry, I spent some time on Alan Weiss’ website, and even subscribed to his newsletter. When I read the newsletter this morning, I had an immediate “ah-ha” moment when I read the part about people saw good news as simply a prelude to coming bad news. He mentions a type of person that sees every turn representing potential trouble, every new person as a threat, and each new request as a burden. These folks seem drawn to “no”, looking for it at every opportunity.

You might be wondering if I’m advocating a “yes to everything” approach to life. Of course not. My point is not to go through life all willie-nillie. I’m just thinking about times I’ve had to work really hard to convince someone to try something new (including providing proof that it’s legal/okay/etc), only to have it torpedoed by someone else musing “I’m not sure if we can do that”.

Have you had that happen to you?

You may be asking “What’s the point?” FAQ: Because I know this is an issue many people deal with, I’m looking to make a speech that discusses techniques for dealing with a negative person like this, especially when it’s someone in a position of authority. I’m curious what tips you may have that you would be willing to leave as a comment on this post? Here’s a few of the ideas that I’ve had success with:

1.  Try to get the “someone else” to see your point of view first. This means that you have to know who the enabler is, but if you’ve dealt with this before, then you know how to find them.

2.  Do the legwork to really prove your idea is sound, and come up with contingency plans in case it doesn’t turn out as great as you predict.

3.  Don’t exaggerate the benefits. Once you get that reputation, you’ll spend years trying to get past it.

4.  Get others on board to help you. Not as a gang, but simply to build your credibility. Don’t turn negative yourself with things like “so-and-so said you wouldn’t agree” or anything to create additional conflict.

5.  If others won’t agree with your ideas, realize that you may not always be right.

My thought is to turn those into three salient points to support staying positive in the face of negativity. If it turns into a decent speech, I’ll post it on YouTube.

By the way, item #5 from last nights post was: Submit three proposals to speak to other non-profit organizations. Tonight I completed sending four to some of our local Rotary Clubs. Also, I finished developing a 5-7 minute speech from the convention to give to the next Toastmasters audience that wants to hear it.

Now if only I could finish Alan’s book…

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