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A More Thoughtful Yes or No

Nov 21, 2021

by Aubrey Patterson


Have you noticed how it's become very popular in social media to encourage us to say "no" to anything new?

Build and fortify boundaries. Guard them fiercely with a no.

We all get this. None of us are tone deaf to the emotions that accompany the uncertainty and fears in recent times.

And truth be told, we proudly subscribe to the hell yeah or no! framework of Derek Sivers. We also coach leaders using the cliché if you never say "no", what's the value of your yes?"

No rarely does harm.

No offers a measure of control to a day that seems increasingly out of control.

However, this emphasis on the power of no makes it more likely that our skepticism or fatigue will cloud new opportunities.

It's becoming far too easy to stop listening to that inner voice that might otherwise be attuned to a propitious idea.

When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare. (John Wooden)

Every opportunity comes with challenges. And those challenges are what we tend to see first. How might we look beyond the pessimism, worries, and fatigue when what we are faced with isn't quite clear enough to meet the hell yeah! standard?

Opportunities are like rabbits—you get a couple, learn to handle them properly, and pretty soon you have a dozen! (John Maxwell)

There are habits we can adopt that will slow our no filters.

Spending more time with bright people who have exciting vision is both refreshing and a wonderful diversion from the worries of today.

Asking a lot of questions in such company will lift our spirits while better positioning us to arrive at a more thoughtful yes or no.

Pushing pause can create the space that allows our response to grow into a more robust version of itself.

So, how do we develop a more thoughtful yes or no?

Once again, we download leadership lessons from impactful teachers.

Response time, proximity, and questioning certainly fall in the wheelhouse of every constructive AND courageous leader.


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