Boundaries define us. The term “no” helps us set boundaries. If you have a problem with saying no, one practice or kata you can apply, is a “yes fast.”
I talked about that yesterday in the Communication Kata webinar. You can download the slides and view the replay. You can also view the slides on SlideShare here.
A kata is a practice or form that develops new skill. It’s also a way of aligning, or synchronizing different elements. Like who you are and what you can and want to do, with what’s being asked of you, as one example.
A “yes fast” is a practice that overcomes one of the biggest barriers to effective communication – the inability to say no. I went on a yes fast many years ago when I realized I needed better boundaries. I went for six months without responding with a yes on the spot. Even if I knew for sure I wanted to say yes, in that six month period I would reply with something like,
- Let me think about it.
Then I would come back with a yes. That practice broke the yes habit, and allowed me to say yes out of choice, not habit.
By saying no, I don’t do business that way, I developed the ability to say, yes, that is how I do business.
By saying, no, I won’t bend on that principle, I was able to know when it did make sense to bend.
By saying, no, I’m not willing to compromise, I learned to collaborate without compromise.
By saying, no, I’m not going to respond with a yes just because someone wants me to, I developed the skill to say yes when I wanted to. And to keep going until I and we knew just what that was.
A yes fast is one of many kata or practices to develop communication excellence. The webinar provided a framework for using the kata in a focused way. Can you use the kata without the steps that lead to their application? Let me think about it. Yes, BUT, you’ll only get a partial result. Or, in other words, yes, AND, if you use them in context, you’ll have a strong foundation and get better results. More importantly, you’ll get the results you want, not just random experiences.