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Mary's Musings

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The Power of Saying ‘No’

Everytime you say yes to something, you’re saying no to something else.

(Amy Morin, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do)

With a new year comes resolutions, saying yes to life and trying new opportunities, however it’s also important to know when to say no.

Saying no in business can increase productivity and decrease levels of stress, allowing you to focus on more worthwhile goals.

In his interactive book, ‘Do More Great Work’, Michael Bungay Stanier urges us to “stop the busywork and start the work that matters” – the work that is most meaningful and where we have the most impact. This kind of work is stimulating and satisfying and will make the best use of our individual interests and talents. By focusing our efforts on this kind of work, we will excel in what we do.

As demands on my time increase, I’m putting this into practice by choosing to put my energies into my most fulfilling work which has meant saying No to some things. There are risks of course (“What if X is offended; what if other opportunities don’t come …”) but taking control is liberating and I’m entering 2017 with focus and anticipation.

I’ve particularly enjoyed coaching senior managers from Royal Berks Fire & Rescue Service and training team leaders at the global IT company, Citrix and the national charity, Shaw Trust.

A common theme across these very different sectors has been learning the power of prioritising.


Making time for the most important things:

  • Protecting time for recharging energy levels (rest & exercise)
  • Investing in quality time with staff
  • Building time for planning, reflection and review into busy diaries


As we go into 2017, why not make it your most productive?

Seeing things from another perspective can be hard if you are at the heart of your organisation, which is where bringing in an experienced consultant can be most valuable.

As objective consultants, our expertise is there to help you identify areas for improvement in your business, whether that’s establishing what to say ‘no’ to or facilitating wider change.

If you’d like to talk about how we could help, get in touch.

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