Thursday, December 31, 2009

Is NO Negative? Only if You Make It So!

There's a scene in the Go for No movie with Art Jonak who is talking about our feelings about the word "NO." In it, Art says, "From a very early age, we're programmed with "No" being negative. Is it negative? Hey, it's just the way we've been programmed, right?"

We couldn't agree more. Almost nowhere do I see push back to "NO" as with our book title, Go for No! Just recently I was told that a person with responsibility over a large organization for sales and development didn't like the title Go for No! because it's negative. This is exactly what we're talking about!

If NO is "negative" then the options are...

1) Ignore and pretend that NO's don't exist. (We've tried this actually and it didn't work). This is a recipe for mediocre performance if not disaster. Pretending that there isn't "rejection" and "failure" and NO's out there in the world is like deciding you don't need flood insurance when you live near the river. Just ignore it and it won't happen. Well, you KNOW all those NO's are out there. And ignoring it, to our mind, just gives it power and makes people deathly afraid of getting the NO's. And if you're getting NO's, well you must be screwing up and failing right? And now how excited are you to keep going? You don't. You quit. This tendency to protect and pretend is not about thinking "positive" or "negative" - it's about understanding the truth and empowering yourself with strength and courage - not fear and hopelessness.

2) Make "NO"positive. Accept the NO's - invite them and become empowered. It's pretty simple: Go for No! When you 'go for no' the yeses will show up your door often in greater quantities than you ever imagined!


Patricia Weber said...

Well it's not a totally surprising reaction from within corporations. That truth is your theory is right and people who might nay say the title as negative might be calling it something else: persistence maybe? It doesn't matter what you label it - rejection is real and so is losing a sale. But I've found acknowledging it-is-what-it-is and being persistent in getting through the nos, usually gets higher production.

Thanks for your post!

Nancy Sustersic said...

I'm with you! No is positive in my world, for the same reasons. Here's one more too...

Good example. A friend of mine Paula Pritchard is a super motivational trainer. She has a great line. When a person says they want more income... she says ask them, "When you say you're interested in making that extra income, were you serious...or just kidding around?" They almost always say..."NO...I'm SERIOUS!"

There's a NO I'll take all day long!! I'm going for NO!!!
Thanks Paula....Thanks Andrea!!!
I think "Go For NO" should be required reading for anyone in business!

Nancy Sustersic
The CEO of Fun!

mrplaid said...

Sometimes I'll set a goal for how many No's I can get in a week. A large number of No's means I'm out there working.

Dotti Berry said...

Thanks for asking, Andrea. I think there is such an emphasis on being positive that corporations/people sometimes fail to grasp the power of moving through the obstacles. I have visualized the end result of my desires all my life, focusing on that "Destination of YES" to propel me past the numerous times I encounter "NO," matter how often I hear it!

Words only have the power I give to them. Embracing "no" as an avenue for reaching "YES" simply means that I don't allow the "no" to derail me. I acknowledge it, use it, and move past it because I understand its purpose. Denying its existence would keep it permanently attached to me, preventing my progress.

Here's a little "Go For No" You Tube video I did about 6 months ago...still rings true.

Dotti Berry
Magnetic Marketing Diva

Caren Glasser said...

The way I look at it, is, if you aren't hearing No's, you aren't talking to enough people.

Mike Stenger said...

Perception is everything and programming makes a HUGE difference. What meaning we give it makes it either positive or negative, not the word.

I totally agree that no is not bad at all and something we should all accept openly. Simply takes so many no's to get to a yes and by each no we get, the closer we are to getting a yes.

SJCGia said...

Hi Andrea,
What a great site! With my propensity towards high anxiety, I tend to avoid situations in which I know there will be rejection or a "no". I think I could learn a lot of assertiveness from your program.
Keep up the great work!
:) Gia

Quantum Gardener said...

I wonder if there is a subtle confusion between no = negative and negative = bad much as there is between simple = easy and complex = difficult. To ask for NO is simple and for many difficult. To drive a car is complex and for many easy.

In this case there is a meaning attached to no which is negative = bad. The idea behind Go For No! is that negative = good. It has little to do with NO itself. Witness all those who can't say NO (they can only say YES) to requests and suffer for it. It's not yes = positive = good.


eternaljanuary said...

Go for No! really does change ones mindset on how to change NO from a negative to a positive. It allows oneself to accept NO as a valid answer. Using some of the stories from the book, I was able to get that point accepted when training employees.

Philip said...

I'll have to say, up until a couple of months ago I to thought NO was a negative word. After I read your book, my entire thought process changed and so did my business. Instead of setting goals of how many Yes's I wanted in day, I set it for how many No's I could get. Just by doing that my Yes's have more than doubled!!! Thank you SO much!!!

Jemila Kwon said...

I love this: "it's about understanding the truth and empowering yourself with strength and courage - not fear and hopelessness."

I see a "No" as someone else's "Yes" to something important to them. Finding out what that is can often by the key to connecting their underlying Yes with the Yes you are looking for!

Jemla K
Life & Executive Coach

Andi Sherwood said...

I don't really have anything more insightful to say than what you have said and the others have said in their comments. I do, however, want to thank you for such a tremendous book that has really helped me re-program my way of thinking and be much more accepting of "no." It has had such a great impact that we are including this in our business kits and I encourage other companies to do the same.

catrina tomsich said...

I love Go For No! when we were little No was a word branded in as as something bad/ have got to retrain your mindset in the business world that NO is positive. The more NOs you get the closer to a yes you are!

Anonymous said...

One of the leader in the company belong to stated one time, "A no ain't nothin' but a no." That is so true! You can't look at it as defeat. You just have to move on. No simply means, next.

Robin Blanc Mascari said...

Hearing your "Go For No" program made a huge impact on me and my ability to support my team in their success!
The ones with the most No's definitely win! You're right!
Thank you for your great contribution and inspiration with your work!

Jan Orga said...

I'm learning that the only difference between the top income earners in my organization and myself is that they've heard "NO" far more often than me! My goal is to "Go for the NO"!! Thank you for your vision!

Anonymous said...

I love hearing stories of No's and Failures! I believe that they strengthen and, in many ways, protect us. Things like the Chicken Soup series and electricity have been inspirational to me, especially when I get into my "I want it now" mode. The timing has to be right and the drive has to be present. When you have those, learn what you can and enjoy the ride!

Kim Pottle
Author of Numb No More

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