Thought for My Day – Ways to Say No – 20121106

Mike Crowe left a comment on my recent article Getting Less Interruptions and More Time by Not Answering the Phone:

He said:

I have a manager at my new job who likes to remind our team of his favorite adage: “There are 10 different ways to tell someone no, and 9 of them start with ‘Yes’” tweet

You know what ? He is right.

Yes but …..

Yes, I can see your point however….

Yes, I like that but could you consider ….

or my favourite – Yes, but NO.

About Greg Ferro

Greg Ferro is a Network Engineer/Architect, mostly focussed on Data Centre, Security Infrastructure, and recently Virtualization. He has over 20 years in IT, in wide range of employers working as a freelance consultant including Finance, Service Providers and Online Companies. He is CCIE#6920 and has a few ideas about the world, but not enough to really count.

He is a host on the Packet Pushers Podcast, blogger at and on Twitter @etherealmind and Google Plus

You can contact Greg via the site contact page.

  • Craig

    Just say no, save yourself. People who say no are respected, even if disliked. Trust me the respect will get your further than being a door mat. And that little bit of dislike people hold against you… well “Man Up” and deal with it.

  • Jonathan Moss

    @ Craig, interesting comment however my experience of upper management is they don’t like the work ‘no’ or ‘can’t’. Seen plenty of people dig in and say ‘no’ only to watch management accept this on the face of it but far from respecting that person more they find someone who says ‘yes’ and do it anyway, even building new teams and structures around the person who says ‘no’ until they are marginalised and eventually irrelevant if they can’t see what’s happening and haven’t the sense to move on.

    • Craig

      You are totally correct. Should add that when I say “No”, I also say “No, but here is how we can do it”. Offering a plan B, that maybe isn’t as popular but is correct for both immediate and big picture has served me.

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