Evidently, I have a lot to say on this topic, so I split it in two. In addition to what I discussed in Part 1, sometimes I find myself in danger of falling into what I call a “Yes Trap”. In this context, except for the very last one, resisting the urge to say yes isn’t so much about protecting your time but rather avoiding an unpleasant outcome. Also consider that if you say yes to one thing, this may force you to say no to something else, possibly something else you really care about. Make sure that you are OK with the tradeoff.
Below is a list of Yes Traps I try to avoid:
Don’t say yes just because it’s the boss’s idea. Do say yes when it’s a good idea.
Don’t say yes based on a “gut feeling”. Do say yes when the data supports it.
Don’t say yes just because you said yes before. Do say yes when the current situation warrants it.
Don’t say yes just because you were asked nicely. Do say yes when their argument is sound.
Don’t say yes because you feel guilty about the past. Do say yes when you want to improve the future.
Don’t say yes because you “owe them one”. Do say yes when the plan is sound and deserves your support.
Don’t say yes just because you think they might be smarter or better informed than you. Do say yes when it makes sense to you.
Don’t say yes just because you don’t want to “rock the boat”. Do say yes when you want to sail with this captain.
Don’t say yes because you don’t want to hurt their feelings. Do say yes when it will assist with their professional development.
Don’t say yes because it is cheaper. Do say yes when it is the better value.
Don’t say yes because you’re afraid nothing better will come along. Do say yes when the opportunity is a great fit and you can’t wait to start.
Don’t say yes to a meeting invitation just because you received a meeting invitation. Do say yes if you receive a meeting agenda AND your input is truly needed or you see how the information will benefit you, your department, or another project you own.
Do you have any of your own to add?
Don’t say yes,