Do You Have a Hard Time Saying “No”?

Excerpted from Chapter 24 of “Now That’s a Great Question.”

Click HERE to listen to Chapter 24 “The Best Question I Have Ever Been Asked”

Do you have a hard time saying “No?”

If YES, then this chapter is for you!

If NO, then please share this chapter with all your friends who do, and move on to something else!

If you do have a hard time saying, “No,” then ask yourself these questions:

  • When you are asked to do something for someone do you always—almost instantly—say, “Yes”?
  • And then, within minutes (sometimes seconds) do you ask yourself, “Why did I commit to that when I am already way overloaded?”

If you almost always say “Yes,” it is most likely that you have developed a knee-jerk response of saying “Yes” whenever asked to do something.

Truth is, it would be almost impossible for you to instantly change your knee-jerk responses from “Yes” to “No”.

So, here are a couple of questions that you can begin using immediately that will allow you to become more thoughtful at when to say, “Yes” or when to say, “No”:

  • “Can you please tell me more?” Sometimes, just hearing more of the details of the request will give you more time to consider and —if necessary—to craft a very diplomatic, “No”.
  • “Can you please give me a day (a few minutes/an hour/a week) to give your request the careful consideration it deserves?”

Neither of the two questions above requires you to say, “No!”  And in fact, a day later you can still say, “YES!” to any request you want to help with.

The value of the two questions is that they both buy you time to make a wiser decision. And then, when necessary, the time to craft a thoughtful “No” response. For example, “I am honored that you thought of me. If I had the time, this is something I would enjoy doing, and especially for you. However, as I have given careful consideration to all of the things already on my plate, I must regretfully decline.”

My life-long mentor Bobb Biehl says, “Wisdom is placing Process between Opportunity and Decision.”

For example:

So the next time you are asked to do something, ask questions!

  • Can you please tell me more?
  • Can you please give me a day to give your request the careful consideration it deserves?

You would also be wise to put your own “Wise Process” between “Opportunity” & “Decision”.

Your Process might include questions like:

  • What exactly am I being asked to do?
  • How much time will it take and when must it be completed?
  • What will I have to say “no” to, in order to say “yes” to this?
  • What present commitments will have to be delayed in order to say “yes” to this?
  • Will doing this help me move forward on my current commitments/goals?
  • Will this require travel? How might that affect my family?
  • Will there be a financial cost to me personally, or to my organization?
  • What might the benefits of saying “yes” be for me, or my organization?
  • What would you add?

You have just listened and/or read “Chapter 24” from “Now That’s a Great Question.”  You can request your free download of the entire Audiobook and/or eBook by clicking HERE

“Now That’s a Great Question” eBooks are also available for free download in Albanian, Farsi, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish:


Bob Tiede


Bob has been on the staff of Cru for 52 years. He currently serves on the U.S. Leadership Development Team and is passionate about seeing leaders grow and multiply their effectiveness. Bob and his wife, Sherry, live in Plano, TX and are blessed with 4 incredible children and 8 remarkable grandchildren.


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