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No is a simple 2 letter word and when said, does it really create the results we are looking for? For me, when someone tells me “no” it makes me want to do that thing even more. Remember my story about riding my bike 205 miles all because someone told me “No, you shouldn’t do that”. They obviously didn’t know me very well because their “no” motivated me to prove to them that I could do it but also prove it to myself. As many of my friends joke, “Telling you no, is the surest way to motivate you to do something”.


For me “no” can be motivating but for others it can be deflating and discouraging. As leaders, we need to be aware of how we handle disagreements with others on our team. Do we sit them down or shut them down? Before we make snap judgements, do we “get curious” and ask questions about what, why and how they came up with the idea? Do we talk them through the idea by listening to their side and also explaining ours? Being a more collaborative leader is important because it promotes creativity and innovation. When we are quick to shut down others ideas without explanation, it doesn’t encourage them to learn, get feedback and try again.


As a coach, people continually come to me with all kinds of ideas, asking for my opinion. What I have found, is that they aren’t necessarily wanting my opinion. What they are looking for is help with perspective, by seeing things beyond their own biased lens. Even if I disagree with them, I aim to embrace a curiosity based mindset. I ask questions about their ideas, discover their motives and help them identify opportunity and challenges so that they can then make an informed decision.


I challenge you this week to take on a coaching mindset and stay away from the no’s. When people approach you for your opinion or disagree with you, sit them down and work through it together. When you have to say no, try and make it constructive and give feedback that doesn’t alienate the team member so that they are encouraged to try again. If you need a sounding board or help learning how to embrace the coaching mindset, lets chat. Together, we can do an initial consultation and discover if coaching is right for you. Let's Chat


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