17 Mar 2017

Just say no!

Ennnn. Ooooh.
No thank you.
Not for me but thanks anyway.
That’s kind of you to offer but we’ve got it covered.

Why do professional people ignore offers of help? FREE help. Is their ego getting in the way? Are they threatened by an outsider’s opinion? Is it more hassle than it’s worth? Are they worried about causing offence by saying No?

Perhaps they think the free advice is worthless. There’s a thought to ponder.

Whatever the reason, ignoring the offer has to be one of the rudest inaction's a person, start-up, business or charity can do. I notice it more and more. People asking for things - money, donations, a contribution of sorts for something (and positioned as a benefit to me) that doesn't relate in any way to my business. Often I reply 'No, not for me but good luck' but if I like the person or the cause I try to find a way to help.

I consider what I am willing to give and what skills I have to offer.

I consider my language and tone when crafting the response and offer something that I think will be of value. A free marketing workshop, help moving boxes, an extra body on the day of the event, an introduction to someone who could make a difference. Mostly people accept and we get to work. Over the years our paths cross and we both enjoy a professional relationship, sometimes we even become pals.

Occasionally people ignore the offer, then contact me down the line with another request for money, a donation or wanting to take up the original offer (particularly the introduction to someone important) that they didn't have the manners to acknowledge the first time around.

And that's not cool. It's not okay.

Your network is the most valuable asset you have in business. Nurture it. Grow it. Invest time in it because there will be occasions when you need support, to be held accountable, a second opinion, a boot up the backside or a confidence boost and your network will only be there to lean on if you've not taken them for granted. Beyond the business value of your network there's that basic human decency of treating others in the manner you'd like to be treated.

It takes a tiny, tiny, tiny amount of time to return a call, or to write an email and say ‘I really appreciate the offer but we’ve got that covered / things are too hectic just now to take you up on that / someone else has offered to do that for us…...

Show a little respect. Other people’s time is as valuable as yours.

I’m a firm believer in the Pay It Forward movement. I’m also a fully signed up member of the ‘I’m No Pushover’ brigade...hence the reason for this 'roar'.

Too tough?

No, just the truth. Honest communication, I’m all for it.

Comments always welcome.
(Apologies to those of you who are now singing Grange Hills ‘just say no’ anthem.)

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