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The ability to communicate ‘no’ really reflects that you are in the driver’s seat of your own life, and can give gives you a sense of empowerment.  How to do it most effectively?

study in the Journal of Consumer Research by Professor Patrick and Henrik Hagtvedt found that saying “I don’t” as opposed to “I can’t” allowed participants to extract themselves from unwanted commitments.  While “I can’t” sounds like an excuse that’s up for debate, “I don’t” implies you’ve established certain rules for yourself, suggesting conviction and stability and are more effective in getting your point across.

There are a few other ways you can get more comfortable with saying no.

It’s a lot easier to be assertive with a stranger selling you something than it is when, say, your pleading co-worker asks for a ride to the airport. Get comfortable with your assertiveness when it’s easy so you’ll be prepared when there’s more pressure.

 It’s easier to say no when you know exactly how to say it, so come up with a few anchor phrases for different situations. “No, I don’t buy from solicitors” for door-to-door salespeople, for example. “No, I don’t go out during the week” for co-workers who want to go on a drinking binge on a Monday night.

When you have these phrases ready, you don’t have to waste time wavering over an excuse. And you start to develop a reflexive behavior of saying no.

Still, sometimes we’re afraid to say no because we fear missing out. We want to take on new opportunities and adventures, so we say yes to everything instead.  But all of those yeses can lead to burnout.

It can help to understand your own long-term goals This way, you can say yes to opportunities that most reflect your values. Second, try to build free time in your schedule so there’s room for new, interesting opportunities you might otherwise overlook.

Some worry that your no might seem threatening.  Research from Columbia University found that our perceptions of our own assertiveness are often unreliable. In mock negotiations, people who thought they were adequately assertive or even over-assertive were seen by others as under-assertive. So if you feel confrontational, there’s a good chance the other party doesn’t see you that way. It’s about operating at the most optimal level.  For most of us, that means living a happier and less stressful life, which is easier to do from the driver’s seat.

Being assertive is a core communication skill. Being assertive means that you express yourself effectively and stand up for your point of view, while also respecting the rights and beliefs of others. Being assertive can also help boost your self-esteem and earn others’ respect.  
Assertiveness can help you control stress and anger and improve coping skills.  Do you need help learning assertive behavior and communication? 
FREE CONSULT: 516 623 4353  one to one, group sessions in Westbury, NY. and Skype
 Image result for free graphic passive assertive aggressive communication

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Take the Frustration Out of Your Conversation with Eileen Lichtenstein, MS. Ed.

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When: Airing May 10, 2013
Where: inspiredfeminineleadership.com 

Join this epic conversation with premier business experts and thought-leaders! Women leaders are changing the world because we lead with passion, purpose and soul. Free to Join! 

Topic: “Take the Frustration Out of Your Conversation”

  • What to do before you “blow your top”
  • Understand the 4 styles of communication
  • The importance of and how to say “no”
  • The importance of and how to communicate assertively
  •  

Eileen’s Profile at Inspired Feminine Leadership

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