How to Say No and Get Ahead

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1. Jensen Group, 2015 Simplicity Project Simplicity Toolkit How to Say No and Get Ahead SAP has partnered with The Jensen Group, the premier expert on organizational simplicity to provide you with some of their tools and insights These documents are segmented into one of three areas of focus... Research Organizational and Leadership Simplicity Personal and Team Simplicity 2. by Bill Jensen The Jensen Group 1 Franklin Place, Morristown, NJ 07960 USA 1 (973) 539-5070 email twitter: @simpletonbill All content developed by and intellectual property of the Jensen Group copyright 2014-16, and should be attributed as such ONE OF THE JENSEN GROUPS FASTPAK SERIES: TOOLS DESIGNED TO DELIVER LASTING RESULTS IN 510 MINUTE INCREMENTS How to Say No. and Get Ahead 3. The Jensen Group, 2014-16 How to Say No 1 (973) 539-5070 Is This What You Dread? You know you want to say No. But you feel you cant because it would be politically incorrect to do so. Or you feel it will lead to confrontation. Or you dont want to let everyone down. Or, or, or... FastPak Tool Guarantee: This tool is guaranteed to get you through daily implementation challenges, delivering lasting results in 510 minute increments. And if you use this tool repeatedly, you can become a star go-to teammate... Yes, by saying No! This FastPaks Strategy and Strength Getting you what you need to get work done in a world of MoreBetterFaster. Sometimes, even more important than having an idyllic relationship with your manager or teammates, is just getting what you need to do your best. This FastPak doesnt care if your relationship with your Yes/No partner is fantastic, so-so, or downright ugly: with any relationship, itll get you what you need faster! What FastPaks Cant Do Create world peace... ...or the workday equivalent thereof. Lets be realistic about what can be expected for just a few bucks, OK?! 2 No. 4. The Jensen Group, 2014-16 How to Say No 1 (973) 539-5070 3 Four Myths of No. As human beings, all of our emotions flow from either Fear or Love. Guess which emotion is causing your troubles with No? Saying No is a career killer The true career-killers are beyond any one transactional No: Your skills, the economy, globalization, etc.... Saying Yes,even when we know its silly and dysfunctional, is part of the game Say Yes (sometimes) for relationships that are worth it. But for career progression? That quid pro quo disappeared years ago. Your bosss and teammatess jobs are in as much jeopardy as yours. Many of your Yess benefit only them. Saying No to a teammate takes me out of the Loop The secret is in saying No in such a way that youre even more in the loop on what truly matters! Well show you how.... My boss will never accept No. Im in a no-win situation. Not every situation can be a win-win. But most every relationship can. Well show you how.... 5. The Jensen Group, 2014-16 How to Say No 1 (973) 539-5070 THE PRIME DIRECTIVE 4 Respect 1440 1440 drives almost every single situation in which you must say Yes or No. 1440 is the number of minutes in a day. Behind most every task, most every request: Getting it done NOW is still too late! Far too many decisions and far too many tasks are driven not by strategies, plans or whats right but by what can be done right away! Which means you must... Realize that much of whats being asked of you wasnt supposed to be yours... The number one behavior in business today: Moving To Dos from our plate and onto someone elses. Too little time, too many To Dos, too few resources.... So what do you and every one of your teammates do? We all try to move our To Dos onto someone elses plate! Which means if you keep saying Yes at the rate you do now, you will never have enough time for your own To Dos! Your day will always be filled doing other peoples tasks. And that scenario is only going to get worse, never better! Respect yourself more If you do not decrease your Yess and increase your Nos, you are disrespecting yourself. How? Since there are only 1440 minutes in every day, taking on so many other peoples To Dos and requests means you are stealing time from someplace else in your life from someone or something else that truly matters to you. THE PRIME DIRECTIVE RELATES TO YOU TOO 6. The Jensen Group, 2014-16 How to Say No 1 (973) 539-5070 5 The Goal Your goal is to not get hooked by the details of the situation, and not focus on the immediate success or failure of saying No. Your goal is to use Nos as an opportunity to change relationships. This idea is no different from fanatical customer conversions how one handles an unhappy customer can completely change the relationship with that customer. Strengthen the relationship and occasional Nos wont matter. No. 7. The Jensen Group, 2014-16 How to Say No 1 (973) 539-5070 6 Three Steps Pick an approach: Direct (25%of all opportunities to say No) 30 seconds or less or Indirect (Use this 75%of the time) 5 minutes or less Use No to change the relationship Learn. Expand what works into other relationships No. 8. The Jensen Group, 2014-16 How to Say No 1 (973) 539-5070 Pick an approach: Direct or Indirect Direct No. No. Thank you, though. Too busy. Ill pass. With Whom Close teammates, friends, those who know how often you say Yes Friends of friends of your friend, or no connection at all Criteria Social capital: The depth (or non-existence) or your relationship. Take the direct approach with those who you are very close to, or not close at all. (If you dont know them well, spend as little time as possible saying No, thank you.) How Often 25%of all opportunities to say No While Direct Nos only account for 25%, this is where most of us spend most of our time! Because theyre comfortable Nos! Your goal is to spend less and less time on Direct Nos, so you have more time for what truly matters Watch For COMMON MISTAKES BEST PRACTICES Over-explaining your No, over-apologizing Be brief! One to twenty words Buying time: saying Yes, then backing out later By being direct sooner, you reduce unnecessary To Dos Indirect Help me understand... Lets talk about this... With Whom Bosses, customers, leaders; Those who direct your actions Networked teammates; Those in the same company, group, or team, but not tied to your daily routine Criteria How your response this time will create future expectations yours and theirs. Take the indirect approach to manage the overall flow of To Dos from these individuals How Often 75%of all opportunities to say no Watch For COMMON MISTAKES BEST PRACTICES Trying to push back directly on a Focus on relationship specific assignment or request Incremental pushbacks; Raise the bar over time; Educate them Find alternative solutions No. 7 9. The Jensen Group, 2014-16 How to Say No 1 (973) 539-5070 Treat Indirect Nos as an Opportunity to Change a Relationship Do NOT push back on the work youve just been handed Change the conversation Control what you can, and forget the rest. You can change the exchange. You can change how you react. 1. Discover the unsaid What would success look like for this project? What do you wish you could have changed last time? Help me understand what youre trying to achieve... What else is on your plate besides this project? Whats connected to this project thats driving the deadline? Even if they are minimal, what tools/support/resources are available? Thanks for your confidence in me! Whyd you think of me? Help me understand the connection to my quarterly goals... Whats worked in the past? Once I hand this back to you, what happens next? 2. Explore alternative solutions Heres how Id start...What am I missing? Ya know, Alpha Team had a problem like this...How about if we...? Which of these three approaches do you think is best? What if I presented two solutions that stayed within the budget? Whats connected to this project thats driving the deadline? Even if they are minimal, what tools/support/resources are available? Are there others who should be involved in this? Could I set up a mid-point check-in with you? 3. Contract for the next conversation Roger, Chief! Can we set up a debrief talk afterwards? A lot fell off my plate doing this: Can you help me find a way to avoid that next time? Im glad youre thrilled with how I delivered on this! Id like to make suggestions to help do this even better next time, OK? Now, can we talk about...? No. 8 10. The Jensen Group, 2014-16 How to Say No 1 (973) 539-5070 9 Learn. Expand What Works Into Other Relationships Every relationship and situation are different, and must be handled that way. However, here are some common lessons learned... 1. Discover the unsaid From our research into the challenging world of MoreBetterFaster, we have observed that much of what is unsaid drives most of the pressure you encounter in your daily routines. How? Lets go back to page 4: The number one behavior in business today is moving things from our plate onto someone elses. With too little time, too many To Dos, too few resources, most of your Yes/No situations are driven by the pressure others feel, so they heap onto you their To Dos, as fast as they can most often, without fully thinking through all thats involved in pushing everything onto your plate. (Like how they would answer the questions on page 8.) So what weve found is that in addition to your own agenda, being able to say No more often when you help others discover all that is buried within their project, you help them to not shoot themselves in the foot! Most people end up being very thankful! (Which, in turn, enhances your relationship with them.) 2. Explore alternative solutions A lot more people will accept and embrace alternative solutions than you think! Why isnt discussing alternative solutions more common place? Because most everyone is pushing things onto others plates in a knee-jerk fashion, and most of us accept whats been pushed at us in the same manner....If you create the time for alternative solutions, theyll be embraced! 3. Contract for the next conversation Closing with this is extremely powerful and, unfortunately, extremely rare. If you want to truly say No and strengthen relationships, always set up the next conversation, and always keep that appointment! No. 11. The Jensen Group, 2014-16 How to Say No 1 (973) 539-5070 10 Why This Tool Works in Saying No and Getting Ahead Every exchange that involves either a Yes or a No is very much about creating fast clarity and on-the-fly deeper thinking before you say Yes or No. Within five minutes or less. Each of the three steps in this process cover critical implementation details that youll need even if you cant say No. So worst-case scenario even if you have to say Yes: youve gotten more of what you need to succeed! Thats a win-win! Why Using This Tool is So Critical Saying No will always include great conversational skills and maintaining a good relationship. But most every difficult Yes or No interaction is triggered by and rooted in implementation a task that must get done. Following the steps in this process focuses both of you solely on the most critical things you need to know in order to either say No, or to agree to take something on. The root cause of most Yes/No issues come from the pressure that your teammate is feeling to get everything done MoreBetterFaster. Regardless of how each situation turns out in a Yes or a No your relationship with that person will be greatly improved by following this process. 12. The Jensen Group, 2014-16 How to Say No 1 (973) 539-5070 Measuring Success in Saying No and Getting Ahead Obviously, the ultimate measure is that you get to say No more often! We may not be able to guarantee 100% Nos (hey, sometimes we all just have to suck it up and do what we dont want to!) but if you use this tool repeatedly, each time youre in a critical Yes/No situation heres what we can guarantee within one to five uses of this tool... Increased Alignment with Your Manager and with Your Teammates Your use of this tool is guaranteed to put you, your teammates and your manager on the same page faster, with a lot less effort. Whether you have to say No or Yes, you will experience greater team alignment on how to get things done, faster, with a lot less effort. Related and equally important: Increased ability to manage everyones expectations. Increased Efficiency and Effectiveness The conversations with your teammates driven by this tool will help you get more done with less effort. Increasingly Viewed as the Go To Person Youll get your teammates intentions, goals and ideas more quickly. Which only serves to make you more valuable! 11 13. The Jensen Group, 2014-16 How to Say No 1 (973) 539-5070 Because one FastPak cant solve for everything... All in this FastPak comes from the Jensen Groups ongoing two-decade study, Search for a Simpler Way, as well as Bill Jensens best-seller, The Simplicity Survival Handbook. There, youll find 32 ways to do less and accomplish more, such as: How to delete 75% of your emails How to go to fewer meetings and get more out of them How to ignore most corporate communications How to give executives less information and still keep them happy How to deal with teammates who (unknowingly) pile it on How to get the orientation you deserve How to decide: Stay or go? Another terrific resource is Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Swistzler. Were proud to recommend and showcase someone elses work. This book delves into great detail about conversations where (1) the stakes are high, (2) opinions vary, and (3) emotions run strong. If your difficulties in saying No involve more than the transactions of getting stuff done if there are deep relationship issues between you and others Crucial Conversations is the perfect follow-up to this FastPak. The authors address three aspects of a crucial conversation: (1) managing our own style under stress, (2) dialogue techniques, and (3) what to do after youve reached shared meaning. At the core of the book is the theory of emotional intelligence, popularized by Daniel Goleman in his 1995 book. Crucial Conversations notes that, when it comes to emotional intelligence, we are often at our worst in stressful situations, and offers tools and tips to stop you from doing the things you know you shouldnt! 12 Buy from Amazon Buy from Amazon 14. The Jensen Group, 2014-16 How to Say No 1 (973) 539-5070 ABOUT Mr. Simplicity THE BIO OF A SIMPLETON Bill Jensen makes it easier to do great work. He is todays foremost expert on work complexity and cutting through clutter to what really matters. Bill has spent the past two decades studying how work gets done. (Much of what hes found horrifies him.) He is an internationally-acclaimed author and speaker who is known for provocative ideas, extremely useful content, and his passion for making it easier for everyone to work smarter. His first book, Simplicity, was the Number 5 Leadership/Management book on Amazon in 2000. His latest books The Courage Within Us and Disrupt! Think Epic, Be Epic reveal the secrets of success through bold ideas and by unleashing your own greatness. His next book is on the Future of Work Bill is CEO of The Jensen Group, whose mission is: To make it easier to do great work. Among the Jensen Groups clients are Bank of America, GE, NASA, the US Navy SEALS, BBC, Philips Lighting, Chevron, the government of Ontario, Pfizer, Merck, LOral Italia, Johnson&Johnson, Guangzhou China Development District, and the Swedish Post Office. Bill's personal life fantasy is to bicycle around the globe via breweries. 1. Out of clutter, find simplicity 2. From discord, find harmony 3. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity Albert Einstein Three Rules of Work