How Not to Say Yes – HBR

I first bypassed this article and then went back to take a second look — there are very valuable, simple but oft forgotten, communication tips here.   It is funny the author remembers his geometry lessons as “profound wisdom” in leadership  —  I personally hated geometry and trigonometry but absolutely loved algebra and the great wordsmiths …..  and like the author of this article,  I also believe my early lessons have had a profound effect on who I am today.  All teachers, please take note here.

Excerpt:  One of the first lessons in geometry I learnt in school was Pythagoras’ Theorem, which mesmerized me with its simple yet compelling logic. It was Pythagoras who also taught me one of my first lessons as a manager. I still remember the profound wisdom of his statement: “The oldest, shortest words — “yes” and “no” — are those which require the most thought.”

Many of us have agonized over the right way to say “no.” As leaders, we learn to be careful about making negative statements, so we don’t dampen people’s initiative, demoralize them, or undermine the chances of getting something done.

For the most part, though, we forget that there are ways of saying “yes” that can have the same devastating results. Three examples:

Read full article via How Not to Say Yes – Vineet Nayar – Harvard Business Review.


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