This quarter, Key Notes On Travel is examining time management with productivity expert Neen James. During her second webinar Neen let us in on a secret: "In my office, if [an opportunity] isn't a 'yes!' it's a 'no.'"
She then delivered the words all busy travel advisors need to hear: "No is a complete sentence."
Neen acknowledges that as travel advisors, saying no is sometimes easier said than done.
"Because the business you're in is so service-oriented, you're always looking for the next opportunity to serve someone else; to create an amazing experience for someone else. [You need to] figure out what to say 'no' to so you can say 'yes' to what really matters."
Why is it so hard to say "no?"
We want to be seen as a team player
We don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings
You want the accolades of being a yes person
Neen's top 4 ways to say "no"
1. "Thank-you for thinking of me for that important project. I'd love to be part of the team. Which of these priorities do you want me to stop working on so I can join you?"
2. "Thank-you for your kind invitation. I am unable to join you."
3. "Thank-you for your kind invitation. I have another commitment."
4. Thank-you for thinking of me for I'd love to be involved. I will be finished my current project in two weeks. May I reconnect with you to discuss this further?
Tip: Don't complicate the rejection with excuses or a white lie.
Stalling or deflecting does not count as a "no"
Neen points out that as hard as it might be to say no, there are costs to not giving a flat-out no thank-you.
"In the craziness of the everyday we operate in, we don’t want to say "no" so we waste a lot of time in the grey area. We waste attention when we resist making a true decision," she explains. "If you want to get more productive, if you really want to pay more professional attention, get comfortable with the mantra "if it’s not ‘yes,’ it’s ‘no.’"
Catch Neen's third time management webinar
Did you miss Neen James' KNOT time management series?
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