The Power of Saying Yes

The Power of Saying Yes is a key concept I have devised from Expanding the Vocabulary of Yes is another great takeaway that I got from reading the book from Frank J. Barrett Yes to the Mess. The way he explains this is that one of the biggest blocks to creativity and improvisation is getting stuck wishing the situation was different. The alternative in his own words are to develop an affirmative mindset: in every condition, there is always a positive pathway to be found or a potential to be noticed and pursued.

The Cynical Manager

The Power of Saying Yes is a way to overcoming the glamour of no. Barrett mentions that too often in many organisations, cynicism is established as a way to attain status. For many people, cynical responses to ideas seem justified because they are more “realistic”.

Too often, executives become far more adept at critiquing others’ ideas than they are at creating their own original ideas or lending support to those of others.

Frank J. Barrett Yes to the Mess, page 169

What is needed is what the author defines an expansive grammar of “yes”a rich repertoire of affirmative moves or responses that convey the tacit assurance that we will help each other to think through ideas, that our initiatives will not be overly constrained by unnecessary structures, that our moves will be a positive contribution, and that possibilities will unfold and glimpses of wider potential horizon will emerge.

Saying yes is a way of moving forward. 

Saying Yes as a cornerstone of Future of Work skills.

“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity to do something and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes. Then learn how to do it later.” —

Richard Branson

With Yes, you mostly mean that you know what you need “more” in your life and your work. It is not about being a “yes person” or feeling pressured to do things you don’t want to. It’s about having the courage and conviction to do the things that are right and that you want to. It’s about delegating correctly, empowering others. It’s about accepting inclusion in a genuinely positive matter. It’s about enabling dissenting ideas and creating the right environment for innovation. We all need to say Yes, more often. As leaders and as simple employees.

Most of the critical skills that will enable the Future of Work have at the basis on The Power of Saying Yes. Authenticity is about saying Yes to your internal self, allowing it to be accurate and transparent towards the outside. Curiosity is about saying Yes to the continuous discovery of the new. Learning Agility is about saying Yes to constant learning. Listening is about saying Yes to the other person, and listening to her because she’s essential. Decision Making is about saying Yes to making decisions (which sometimes will often involve telling No). System Thinking is about saying Yes to the complexity of the world we live in, and to holistic ways of understanding it. Resilience is about saying Yes to Change and finding positive energy also through difficult times. Being Deliberately Developmental is about saying Yes to development at individual, team and organisation level.

Eight Reason to unleash The Power of Saying Yes

Say Yes,
and you’ll figure it out afterwards.

Tina Fey, Aha Moment

It’s not just about positive thinking. It’s about living a fuller life and adding to your own potential as a person and Leader. Saying Yes brings miracles and opportunities that exceed your expectations. Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt said it best during his commencement address at the University of California at Berkeley: “Find a way to say yes to things.

So I’ve condensed eight reasons to say Yes more often. 

  1. You block the miracle if you don’t say yes 
    Catching opportunities is essential, and these often do not wait for perfect timing. The critical concept is: “start before you are ready”, as put excellently in words by Marie Forleo. When we say no to opportunities, we often also reject the fun that doing something new brings, and the learning opportunity it carries.
  2. There are more reasons to say No…
    Even when we need to take a big decision, also when all odds seem against it, try to listen to your inside voice that says Yes. Please pay attention to that little positive vibe, and see where it carries. It’s not Yes, always at all costs, but it will just make sure you don’t abandon yourself to default No.
  3. People will believe you can.
    To have an option of saying, Yes, means that someone believes you can achieve something. Take this opportunity as a compliment and harness the confidence that other people have in you.
  4. Yes leads to more open doors.
    When I decided to move to Milan and accept my first job, some people objected I should have refused. But that experience has led me to where I am today. It’s better to regret what you have done than what you haven’t is an old concept brilliantly summarised by Paul Arden. And it is true, as it links to the next big lesson
  5. Opportunities do not always arise again.
    Sometimes Luck is a crucial component of our lives. We need to conscious of this. True, new opportunities might come again, but we might regret the one we missed. In an organisational context, we need to weigh options carefully, but still listening to the gut can be an excellent way to assess the beauty of what is happening. And exploit Serendipity as it happens.
  6. Yes attracts positivity.
    People that saz yes more often do more things, they create more and have better lives
  7. Yes helps you stretching.
    There’s no “Think Outside the Box” without saying Yes to the unknown. Saying Yes allows for stretching outside of the comfort zone we live in.
  8. Yes Helps Discovering.
    By saying Yes you can learn a new language, discover a new sport, meet new friends. You will find even more opportunities because a No closes the discussion typically. Yes creates loops of continuous opportunities to say Yes and discover novelty. 
  9. Life is short. Ask not why, but why not?
    Here is real courage. It is a way to add perspective and abandon our fears. Jumping in the unknown can help us be a better self.

Conclusion: The Power of Saying Yes

Fig.1: The biggest issue with saying yes can be how much we value ourselves. Photo by Hello I’m Nik 🇬🇧 on Unsplash

It might be a bit edgy, a bit out of your comfort zone. Some people feel proud at the No they say; it gives them an aura of authority. But I hope you understood why such a tiny three-letter word, makes so much of a difference.

Saying “Yes” requires work, commitment, and accountability, and sometimes that scares people away, especially if they feel unprepared or unmotivated. But here’s the reality: a positive response will always give you more than a no. A no is guaranteed failure. A Yes is the fun of discovery and learning.

The Power of Saying Yes is about saying yes to life and watch as life rewards you. So what do you say?

Cover Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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Sergio Caredda

Digital Knowmad | Multipotentialite | HR Leader | Transformation Agent | Future of Work thinker | On a mission to re-embed Human into HR.

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