One word, two letters and it can be a complete sentence in a conversation. It’s powerful for such a small thing, right? I mean, let’s be honest,
there aren’t many - if any, words out there that can pack that much heat and literally only take 2 letters to do it. But I’m not a Etymologist or linguistics instructor so that's not exactly what we are here to talk about. What I want to dive into is how “No”
can be a good thing and how letting people say no can get us exactly what we want.
We start when we are young, it’s one of the first things toddlers learn to say and use (very) regularly in speech - No. Our old, (not so) deeply
hidden lizard brain loves to be in control, even as youngsters. And to be honest it does not go away over time. In control is a nice place to be.
There is a book written by Chris Voss, who was a lead hostage negotiator for the FBI, and it talks about how phrasing for someone to say no but
in reality say yes can change the outcome for the person asking the question. One of the examples that comes to mind is if we are running early for our appraisals we could call and say “Can I come early to the client” - the only way to answer that is with
a “yes” if that's what we are hoping for and it feels a lot less powerful and in control than if we ask “would it be a problem if we came by early?”. This is where they can get that power of the no but they really mean yes.
It’s not an exact science but I do believe that there is a lot to be said about how we say things, both in the tone that is used but especially
in the words.