Sometimes you just have to say NO!

23 Apr 2016 8:00 PMMike Bennett
Sometimes you just have to say NO!

Paul Simon sang a song called "50 ways to leave your lover" back in the '70s and although the advice offered in those lyrics may have appeared harsh (but fair!) sometimes you have to find different ways of saying no. This applies to business and personal life of course and, in particular, the way we connect via social media. Thinking about it, I may have to play that song on my radio show between 9.00 and 12 noon next Monday on Logan 101FM (See what I did there?)



Regular readers to my occasional rants (thank you both for your continued support by the way!) will remember my LinkedIn experiment regarding connections and how we ensure that we can offer value as opposed to just making up the numbers. 

You didn't read it? Oh well, if you insist. . Click HERE to revisit that one!

Part 3 of this ongoing experiment involved gaining new 'pretend' Facebook friends based on a starting point of just one genuine connection made at a networking event. If you recall, there were some great tips on networking a few weeks ago. . . you didn't see that post either?

OK, since you asked click HERE. . . you'll thank me later! 

Back to the experiment, after connecting with one person I checked out his Facebook friends list and noticed someone who I had seen at a different networking event but had not made contact. I 'friend requested' him and he accepted without asking why I had made the connection. I now had 2 mutual friends and decided to see how many others would accept me as a friend based only on the fact that we had 2 shared connections. By the end of the week, I had over 200 positive responses from people who didn't know me but assumed that I must be OK as we had shared contacts!


Human nature dictates that we want to be liked, popular, don't want to offend or upset anyone (Sweeping generalisation I know as not everyone has these standards but you get the idea!) so it's easier to accept a friend request and never actually communicate rather than just saying NO or sending a quick note asking why they would like to connect with you. Obviously I made sure that I have something in common with my new batch of Facebook friends, even if its just location or shared interests so. . . . . . .  if you're reading this as one of those people who just said yes - you've had a lucky escape this time as I'm not a serial stalker (apart from Kylie occasionally but that's just an age thing!) or one of the many social media keyboard warriors who's intentions are more sinister.


Saying NO can also be used in a positive way but say it without apologising and it has more meaning. The second you start a response with "I'm sorry but. . ." you're on the back foot.

If a potential client contacts us to ask for help with media handling during or after a major incident we will always say NO but justify that with a follow up. . .

"Can you salvage our reputation after we've been grilled on the 60 minutes programme?"

"NO but we can train you how to prepare for the next one" is more valuable than just saying yes to secure a contract.

It might appear easier to say yes just to please your boss or keep the kids quiet during the school holidays but saying NO followed by an alternative suggestion or two will work on most occasions.

If it's any consolation, it took us 10 years of running our own training company before we were brave enough to say NO to a client but there comes a time when you have to draw the line and become more assertive. If that means a few less pretend Facebook friends then so be it!

Now, let's talk about applying that principal to Tinder. . .

Too soon????