How to Use a Positive No to Strengthen Relationships

One Technique That Will Make Communicating Your Preferences Much Easier

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.

the power of a positive no