Our September presenter Katie Campbell gave an informative talk on “Saying No without Reserve or Regret” at the beautiful Virginia War Memorial. Katie reviewed tactics used by askers to get us to say “yes”. Some of the tactics are flattery, desperation, quilt and trickery. She then discussed why and how to say “no”. She also supplied us with phrases to use in saying “no” such as “I have a previous commitment…”; “We don’t have the resources…”; and “This is beyond the scope of our organization’s mission…”. Katie also suggested some deflection phrases such as “Who else is helping with this…” or “Have you thought about…”.
After a short round table discussion, Katie concluded with when to say “yes”. She stressed askers should have a clearly defined idea of what they were asking of you, and expected outcome. You should have a clear idea of what can be expected in way of resources and support. Only when you feel confident with the mutual agreement should you say “yes”.
Katie concluded with, “If you never say no, what good is your “yes”.