Turning “no” into “yes”

Shawn Casemore • No Comment
Posted: March 22, 2011

Undoubtedly we have all met up with obstacles that stop us from pursuing our desired outcomes.  This can be a frequent occurrence when dealing with suppliers, contractors, or employees.

There are five ways to avoid a “no” response:

  1. Avoid beginning sentences with phrases such as, “can you,” “will you,” or, “I need you to.”
  2. Steer clear of positional discussions, and work to collaborate with the other individual.
  3. Make yourself part of the solution; be an active participant in the outcome.
  4. Provide the other party with several options, versus a “take it or leave it” approach.
  5. Re-phrase the question in such a manner as to avoid a no response.

Following are some examples of how to apply these techniques:

Example 1 – Speaking with a Supplier:

Question: Can you have staff work late to ensure the delivery is shipped today? (yes/no)

Revised Question: It would be best if we could ensure the delivery departs your facility today.  What can we do to make this happen?

Example 2 – Speaking with a Customer:

Question: Will it be okay if we ship the product COD? (yes/no)

Revised Question: Due to the cost of this shipment, we will need to obtain some financial compensation prior to delivery of the material.  Would you prefer for us to charge prior to delivery or agree now on a mutually beneficial payment schedule?

Example 3 – Speaking with an Employee:

Question: I need you to work this weekend to finish the report, will that be okay? (yes/no)

Revised Question: This report is going to take considerable work to complete before the meeting on Monday.  Is there any time you have available between now and Monday morning to work on the assignment?  What ideas do you have on how we can meet the deadline?  Is there some way I can help?

Avoiding a “no” response will reduce stress, ensure critical tasks are completed, negotiated, or agreed to, and result in a successful and collaborative team environment.

© Shawn Casemore 2010.  All rights reserved.

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