If we learn how to use a positive no to communicate what’s important, it will make things easier for us.
Every day, we’re dealing with many demands on our attention, time, expertise or resources. Saying no can be uncomfortable and cause us to say yes when we don’t want to.
Saying no to many things or requests is mandatory if we want to say yes to the right things or requests.
This is where learning how to use a positive no is helpful to stay true to our priorities, without affecting our relationships.
What is a Positive No?
Harvard Professor William Ury, shared the concept of a positive no, in his book, The Power of a Positive No.
A positive no is a way to respond to a request that works for everyone, without affecting the relationship or our priorities.
Using a positive no makes it easier to decline a request made on us, while being respectful of the person making the request.
The Costs of Not Knowing How to Use a Positive No
If we don’t use the concept of a positive no, and agree to something when we don’t want to, it can:
- Lead to emotions of resentment, frustration or anger.
- Take our focus away from what’s important.
- Delay what we want to get done.
- Cause us to waste time doing something that’s not beneficial.
- Reduce our confidence and level of self-trust.
Something as simple as saying no the right way can affect us and those we interact with.
Knowing how to leverage your network can make a huge difference as you aspire to achieve new results.
It has often been said, “Your net worth is determined by your network.”
Why Should You Learn How to Leverage Your Network?
If you know how to leverage your network, the benefits include:
- Opportunities for new partnerships and collaborations.
- Generating new ideas which can lead to new innovations.
- Faster progress towards what you want.
- Ability to make a bigger impact or difference in your community.
- Confidence to aim for bigger goals.
To leverage your network correctly, there are things to know that will help create beneficial outcomes for everyone involved.
There are ways acknowledging others will make you a better leader, provided you follow through consistently.
A leader’s responsibility is to develop people to achieve desired outcomes. This means developing people is always a work in progress.
One of the best ways to bring the best out of others is through leveraging the power of acknowledgement.
Everyone likes to be acknowledged or appreciated. It’s tied to our need to belong or fit in. Acknowledging others is a powerful way to meet that need.
Those who make acknowledgement an integral part of their leadership style will stand out as a leader worth following.
I once worked in a team that changed leadership after I’d been with the team for three years. The first leader focused a lot of his time and energy getting to know his team members. During team meetings, he would acknowledge team members and share why it was a benefit to the team.
His practice of acknowledging others publicly helped create a high level of trust and collaboration in the team.
Having ways to develop your self leadership will make you a better leader and enhance the impact you can make.
We’re all leaders. We don’t need a leadership title to be a leader. The things we do and the way we behave makes a difference to those we interact with regularly.
How we lead ourselves will influence how we lead others. If we want to be a better leader, we have to give more attention to our self leadership.
What is Self Leadership?
Self leadership is our ability to be who we are and be congruent with our thoughts, actions and behaviours.
It’s knowing our values, standards and intentions to achieve what we want, while remaining true to who we are.
Why Your Self Leadership Will Make You a Better Leader
To have a strong self leadership capabilities, we need to have:
- High self-awareness.
- Strong self-belief.
- Immense self-confidence.
As we develop our self leadership, we’ll gain new awareness, have more self-belief and self-confidence. This will also help us communicate better and influence others in a positive way.
The more we influence others positively, the better leader we’ll become.
High achievers know how to use accountability to have more success. Being accountable is a key to their success.
What is Accountability?
Accountability is defined as “the state of being accountable, liable or answerable.”
When we’re accountable, we’re held responsible for doing or achieving something we’ve agreed to. Accountability is a powerful motivator.
Why Do We Need to Be Accountable?
We’re driven to gain rewards or to avoid a pain or a consequence. In an ideal situation, if we agree to do something, we should get it done. However, we know that’s not always the case.
Human beings are more driven to avoid a pain than they are to gain a reward. If there’s something we consider painful on the line if we don’t complete what we’ve agreed to, we’ll be motivated to avoid that pain.
When we use accountability to have more success, it doesn’t make us weak or unreliable. It means we’re serious and committed to achieving a particular result.
Accountability is a tool or a system we can use to challenge ourselves to be the best we can be.
The Benefits of Accountability
Using the power of accountability can benefit us in many ways, including:
- Staying focused and being reminded of the outcomes we want.
- Having someone we can talk to about what we’re working on.
- Receiving support and encouragement to keep moving forward.
- Getting new insights or perspectives when dealing with challenges.
- Celebrating our successes with someone who has been with us throughout the process.
When we learn how to use accountability to have more success, we’ll progress faster towards what we want.
Those who can deal with a cluttered mind when under pressure have a better chance of making progress.
Knowing how to have a clear mind is necessary if we want to operate at a high level. Whenever we feel we have a cluttered mind, it affects our ability to make good decisions.
What is a Cluttered Mind?
A cluttered mind is the opposite of a calm, focused mind. When we have a cluttered mind, we’ll:
- Experience confusion and uncertainty.
- Have a lot of mental chatter.
- Be indecisive.
- Make poor choices affecting our health and relationships.
- Not keep our agreements and break our commitments.
Causes of a Cluttered Mind
Things that can cause us to have a cluttered mind include:
- Influenced by the opinions of other people.
- Stress or pressure.
- Bad diet.
- Lack of sleep.
- Too many things going on with no prioritisation criteria.
- Lack of exercise and self-care.
- Having a medical condition.
- Being on medication.
Having ways to deal with a cluttered mind will help us ease stress or pressure and handle our responsibilities well.
In the coaching profession, being able to develop the skill of curiosity is essential to be an effective coach.
Curiosity is a valuable skill to develop as a leader. It shows a willingness to learn more about those we work or engage with.
What is Curiosity and Why Develop it?
We define curiosity as the “desire to know or learn.” When we’re curious, we’re in a state of being in the unknown and ready to learn something new.
There is a fine balance between being curious and being nosey. When someone is being nosey, they want to know something for their benefit, without considering how to serve another person.
When someone is being curious, they want to better understand a person or situation for the purpose of helping them reach an outcome they want.
If we develop the skill of curiosity, benefits will include:
- Expanding our perception or point of view.
- Greater levels of empathy with others.
- Deeper connection with others.
- Better problem-solving ability.
- More personal growth and self-confidence.
As we develop the skill of curiosity, our ability to communicate effectively will improve. This will allow us to support others in achieving what they want, while we achieve what we want.
Learning how to use frustration as fuel for more motivation is a mindset that can be developed.
It’s not uncommon for us to have experiences regularly that cause us to get frustrated. If we don’t turn our frustration into more motivation, it may affect our progress towards our objectives.
Since we generate motivation from within, we have to ensure we’re doing all we can to have a healthy mindset.
Things That Trigger Frustration
Whenever we feel frustrated, it means there is a gap between what we’re experiencing and what we want.
Common things that can cause frustration are:
- Being unable to do something we want to.
- Having an experience we deem to be unpleasant or annoying.
- Not having something go the way we expect it to.
By using frustration as fuel for more motivation or inspiration, we can continue making progress and accomplish what we want.
Committing to becoming a lifelong learner is one of the most valuable decisions we can make to improve our lives.
There is a law of nature that states if something isn’t growing, it’s in a state of decline. As human beings, we grow when we challenge ourselves to do things we haven’t done before.
This can involve learning new things and taking new risks. If we stop learning, it means we’re starting to die. Those who don’t believe they can or don’t want to learn, are telling themselves they’re old.
Benefits of Being a Lifelong Learner
Being a lifelong learner will reap significant benefits, especially over the long-term. Some of the benefits include we’ll:
- Have a sharper mind and be more alert.
- Have more self-confidence.
- Improve our communication skills.
- Be better informed of future trends and anticipate better.
- Attract or be more aware of opportunities.
- Improve our problem-solving skills.
An advantage of being a lifelong learner is that we’ll keep ourselves mentally stimulated. This can help prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s, which affects a person’s ability to recall or process information.
Becoming a lifelong learner will bring about mental, emotional and physical benefits.
Having good listening skills is essential if we want to be a better communicator and have more influence with others.
As listening is a key component of effectively relating to others, knowing what we can do to improve is extremely beneficial.
If we observe most people during conversations, they’re not actively listening to what another person is saying. It’s been said that instead of listening attentively, most people are thinking of what to say next. This means it can be easy to miss something that has been said or even misunderstand someone.
The Advantages of Having Better Listening Skills
- It will improve relationships and build friendships.
- It will facilitate better understanding and agreement.
- It will avoid conflicts.
- It will solve problems faster.
- It will reduce errors and time wasted.
Poor communication skills has been known to cost people money, friendships, personal or professional relationships, and careers. Focusing on developing good listening skills is one way to start becoming a better communicator.