[Advice] A Positive No

The moment that you are ready to leave the office, complete a project, take a phone call, or meet a deadline, another person walks up.

This person has other priorities, but finding out what those are is not the thing that you are interested in, but that person makes sure to tell you all about their priorities.

The thing about time management is that managing other people is the unsung, unconsidered hardest thing to do.

Other people have their own priorities, and we are too embarrassed, too distracted, or too disinterested to discover what they are.

This is when the positive no, or the sandwich no, becomes the best way to address the energy vampires (or time sucks) that other people can be sometimes.

It goes something like this:

“Thank you for coming to me with [insert whatever the topic is here]. No, I don’t have time to talk about this right now. But, please come back [name a definitive later time here] and I will talk with you then.”

Then, put that time vampire on the calendar, turn around, and walk away firmly. This last part is important, because many people can’t close the conversation.

When using a positive no—or a sandwich no—remember to always be closing.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com
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