SERIES: Part Three of a Five-Part Article
Fear of intimidation,
fear of being seen as mean, rude, or a non-team player. These are all
underlying reasons that hold most people back from saying “no” to someone in
the work place. In actuality, saying “no” is exactly what would have led to greater
productivity and profitability.
Saying “no” has gained a bad reputation over the years, yet it is an explosive
tactical engagement resource that managerial-leaders have at their disposal.
Here is a simple formula you can use with a customer, peer, subordinate and
even a boss that stimulates a non-confrontational conversation when your gut
tells you that you cannot be a miracle worker. The U.S.A. Model plays
off a psychological model, suggesting that when you need to engage another
person in an unpleasant topic (such as saying “no”), you should start with an
empathy statement or phrase to acknowledge the other party. Then, transition
very matter-of-factly into the issue to be addressed. Conclude with an
action-oriented question so the other party does not feel attacked but rather
has an indication as to where they should go with the conversation.
U – Start with a
non-threatening statement to elevate the other party. This allows them to
UNDERSTAND the present
S – SITUATION or
status quo that is conflicting with their immediate request of you unless
A – Some degree of
ACTION can be taken to change the two that are in conflict.
The process may sound
I can appreciate that
(insert their request of you).
Right now, I am/we are
(insert your present situation).
Should I/we (insert
first option) or (insert another option)?
Notice there are no
defensive or challenging transition words between each line in this sequence.
Tactically, when you engage the other person, you do not want to do anything
that will jeopardize the power of this U.S.A. Model.
Remember that in many instances in today’s business world, people come to you
for aid because you have trained them to come to you, while others have trained
them not to come to them. Now is the time, therefore, to non-confrontationally
retrain people, allowing everyone to be productive.
We welcome you to share your experiences with us.