We all know that the word NO has very negative connotations, so this week I would like to share 10 alternatives to just saying NO.
Last week, one of my clients was asking about how to make a more positive impact on students who were struggling in class. As most coaches would, I asked what my client wanted to achieve, what they were doing now, and what was the gap they needed to fill? It turned out that the students were getting disheartened when they got an answer incorrect, also the client didn't believe she was helping the situation. Now, I know my client is an excellent teacher, I have actually attended an online class as part of our sessions, but we quickly realized that it came down to one word, and that word was NO.
Sometimes my client would (in the interests of time) just say no to a student if they got an answer incorrect. This is actually true of some leaders at work when an idea is proposed in a meeting, or a suggestion is offered on the workshop floor. as with students, employees can get disheartened if they feel they are not part of the building process.
I, for one, know this little quote to be true:
A person (student or employee) who feels appreciated will always exceed their teacher or manager's expectation.
So today I have put together a couple of alternatives to the word NO, I know there are hundreds of others, but these especially will work for both students and employees. If you have any more, let me know by leaving a comment below. I would love to hear them and if I get enough, I will also share them as a poster or something similar.
Tip of the week: Try not to simply say NO.
Try these instead,
Let's look at this together?
Can you give me another suggestion?
Do you have another idea?
That's interesting, what made you think of that?
How can we make this work?
We may need to adjust your idea a bit
May I think about that?
How would you answer that question?
That's a good idea, however, can you think of any problems that may arise?
I like your thinking, let's set up a time to discuss this further?
By the way, my client started utilizing more open-ended questions and then used more statements like; good try, a nice thought, have another go and my favorite, lots of people think the answer is that, just like you do. It made a massive impact on them. As a teacher I always believed that the goal is to build trust with students so they knew, I wasn't trying to embarrass them.
Let me know your thoughts, but most importantly, have a great week out there.
Richie Forde, Performance Coach and the Founder of Edge Coaching Services.