YES! Yes, I’ll do it – Too easy.

Sorry No – Too hard.

If, like me, you are presented with a dozen or so opportunities a week (thank you LinkedIn) …

If you have well-meaning souls aiming to make your life richer, more fulfilled, etc …

If you feel like you don’t have enough time to get through the important stuff …

Then learning how to say No is one of the greatest skills you can master.

Here are three ideas to help.

Immediate Situations and Requests

Practice saying these words:

Thank you for the opportunity/request.  However, I’m unable to do that.  Good luck.’

That’s quite different from:

Can I think about it? I’ll let you know. Yes, but… Not right now, ask me later.’

Future Opportunities and Events

When you receive an invitation for something at a point in the future, ask yourself this question:  ‘If this were happening today would I say yes?

If it looks so great and you would love to attend/get involved today, say yes.  If not, politely decline.

Ultimate Question

This only works if you are clear on your goals and life’s purpose. Ask yourself this question:

Will saying ‘yes’ take me closer towards my goal or move me further away?

What are your ideas for saying No when the pressure is on to say Yes. Please share your ideas below.

Be Brilliant!


Congratulations to Coral Affleck-Major, whose lovely advice to the England Football team following this newsletter, has won her a copy of Flip It – how to get the best out of everything.

I’m taking August off now, so you may or may not receive a weekly blog from me.  Hope that’s ok?


  1. July 26th 2018 by Mrs B

    Because / No/ Alternative can be a useful structure to string a NO response around…

    – You give a reason why it’s a no
    – You say no
    – if liked, you suggest an alternative way they could meet the objective.

    For example:

    I’ve got an appointment later on this evening, so I can’t help, sorry. Maybe try someone with fewer commitments?

  2. July 26th 2018 by Karen

    My ureka moment about saying No was when I realised I didn’t have to give a reason. Once you start the journey down the excuse route everyone seems to have a solution for your reason. As we say to our children ‘No means no!’ No need for excuses! It is so liberating when you realise this.

    1. July 26th 2018 by Michael Heppell

      That is brilliant! Of course you don’t have to give a reason. I love this. Thank you for sharing.

  3. July 27th 2018 by jim hetherton

    USe DATA and STAND UP! When we say no with Data our credibility increases, years ago I was a manager of the Big sheds TESCO, I needed an urgent issue dealing with so I went to Phil he was one of my reliable squad but he had been “on a course” I said “I need this dealing with right now” As Phil sttod up and pointed to his wall whiteboard where his key projects and goals where listed, he calmly said OK not a problem I can do that, but which of these go on the back the back burner? (ball firmly back in my court!) I took a second look and said while turning on my heels carry on I’ll get someone else. 🙂 I now teach this concept -you are 3 times more Assertive on your feet and when you preface the conversation with the positive and say no with data your credibility is enhanced 🙂 🙂

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