Last weekend I attended an amazing training course that was pretty full on for the entire weekend. All good news that I will tell you about another time. Sunday night arrived and I just wanted to unwind. The next thing is I am watching the X-factor and marvelling that Cher at 67 years of age is crooning away; in tune, with a number from her latest album; apparently her 25th. Yes you read that correctly 25th?!
With the average commercial ‘life span’ of a pop star being around 4 years I am then truly impressed. As if by magic the question I am asking in my head suddenly pops out of the presenter; Dermot O’Leary’s mouth: “Cher what advice would you give to the contestants who want to be as successful as you are?” A woman of few words Cher then gives a simple answer. “Don’t take no for an answer!” That was it. I sense for the majority of people in the studio the impact of her response was lost. Not in a certain house in Edinburgh though.
On top of processing what I had learnt all weekend I was now reflecting on the power of what she had said. No. A simple word of just two syllables that is one of the hardest to say on a consistent basis; unless you are two years old, when it becomes incredibly easy!
No and how it plays out in our life contributes to our success or not. Luckily for the majority of recruitment managers and consultants I have trained taking no for an answer from clients or candidates is not the issue. Saying No to others most certainly is.
Rarely easy to say to someone unless it is an activity that is likely to have us thrown in jail. Generally as human beings we want to please. It is nice to be liked. Though we have a great time saying no when we are two years old, we soon learn that it isn’t really acceptable behaviour. When we hit employment we are well versed in ‘proper’ responses and often no isn’t one of them. Usually by this time we are so full of our own insecurities that we don’t want to be thought bad of or compromise our employment possibilities in the future. Saying yes seems to feel good and be the, ‘right’ thing to do. In other words, “no” often seems like a failure, an admission of weakness, or just an overall not good thing to say. If this is resonating with you then you need to STOP and take stock. A significant amount of recruitment managers I come across live their lives with a feeling of “overwhelm” that either runs them or at least gets in their way from time to time. Unless you want this to continue to dominate your life you need to learn how to say no.
Saying No to other people is incredibly empowering in our life and the sooner we start ‘doing’ it in an authentic way the better. When you start saying No when appropriate and Yes when you mean it can completely shift how others perceive you. Strange as it might seem you will be more relaxed in yourself and people will ‘get’ that about you. The knock on effect is your trust rating goes through the roof and this in its self makes you stand out as the confident, honest approachable recruitment manager that you are.