Saying “no” might seem cruel, but it is not. It’s better to decline an invitation or an opportunity versus giving it less than your best, thus deeming you a slacker. Now, we understand that saying no isn’t always easy, especially if the person or situation that you are being presented with is of value for you. But, displaying discernment, or judging situations and decisions well is an essential part of being a great leader.
Today, let’s explore 3 simple ways to display discernment and still ensure that you are maintaining your relationships, displaying leadership and keeping yourself available for future opportunities. When presented with an opportunity or invitation that you know that you plan to decline, consider these 3 degrees of displaying discernment:
- Say: “No, Thank You”: The simplest and easiest way to display discernment is to simply say “No, Thank You”. This option is straight to the point and works when you have personally agreed to take the stance of not offering any explanations or additional information to the other individual involved. Sure, this method works, but if you plan to interface with or work with the person offering the opportunity or invitation in the future, this might not be the best response.
- Say: “No, Thank You” and ask to be considered for future opportunities: Perhaps the timing of this invitation or opportunity is just bad , but you want to be considered for future opportunities or invitations later. Say that! If you just say “no, thank you”, the other party may think that this type of opportunity does not interest you whatsoever and will not invite you again. Display discernment by saying, “no thank you”, but also display discernment again, by communicating what your future intentions are.
- Say: “No, Thank You” and offer an explanation: Sometimes you have a string of invitations and opportunities that you have to decline or that you aren’t interested in. What might happen is that you already have or want to establish a relationship with the offering individuals or organization and you want to maintain or strengthen the relationship, although you know that you can not currently engage or accept their proposed offer(s). This situation may prompt you to offer an explanation explaining your denial. Now, of course, you can simply say, “no thank you”, but an explanation shows the offering party that you are interested for future opportunities and think so highly of the person or organization that you want to offer an explanation of why now isn’t the best time for you to accept.
Displaying discernment allows you to make sound decisions and focus on the most critical tasks and events of your life. Accepting everything without judging its true importance opens the door for stress and frustration and also extinguishes your ability to perform as a leader.
Challenge yourself to display discernment this week and let us know how it goes!