How to be assertive without saying ‘no’

Do you need to be managing upwards or dealing with colleagues?

If you wish to cut down on what you don’t want anymore, it’s not always a matter of learning to say ‘no’. ?

You may get nearer to what you want with this tactic instead. ?



When tasks are raining down on you from above,

it can be very difficult sometimes to be able to bat them away. So there were two words that can really help you because it’s not always so easy to say ‘no’.

These two words are ‘yes if’.

In Improv, we’re taught about ‘yes and-ing’ and a lot of companies have picked this idea up and they think you have to ‘yes and’ everything but it isn’t actually, all that practical to go, “Yes, of course, I’ll do that report and I’ll do somebody else’s work as well.”

Not necessarily all that practical or something that you would want.

So ‘yes if’ allows you to proceed in negotiation.

For example, you can say:

  • “Yes if you give me more time.”
  • “Yes if you get somebody else to help me.”
  • “Yes if I can give you a summary and then write the full report in a week.”

So those are three examples where you can actually use ‘yes if’ to stop tasks from raining down on you from above.


For more ways to manage your time – and others asking for it, go here.

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