My role as a coach changes with every client and with every meeting. My approach is fluid and organic. Currently, I’m helping a client say “NO” to opportunities.
The reasons to say yes are many and varied » Some people get asked all the time. Saying “NO” can be hard to justify. Causes seem worthy. « Becoming over-committed is pretty easy to do and, occasionally, we find ourselves in situations that are not a good fit for us.
A few of the reasons you may default to say, “YES”:
You are flattered to be asked
You are sensitive to hurting feelings by saying no
You are in the habit of always saying yes
When your personal tendency is to say “YES”, you have to learn to carefully consider the opportunities.
For example, as I am coaching my “How do I say no?” client, we are focusing on defining strengths. If you know what you are good at and have articulated (written down) the abilities that you uniquely bring to an opportunity and what you are passionate about (or at least are interested in), then you have a way of evaluating whether the need presented is one that is a good fit for your skills and interests. There is no great reward for simply putting time in, especially for an organization that doesn’t need what you can uniquely offer. Filling a slot is rarely rewarding.
Focused and intentional decisions bring the best results. Being intentional will certainly not diminish your reputation for being a valued asset, but should increase it.