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.
1. U – Start with a non-threatening statement to elevate the other party. This allows them to UNDERSTAND the present
2. S – SITUATION or status quo that is conflicting with their immediate request of you unless
3. A – Some degree of ACTION can be taken to change the two that are in conflict.
The process may sound like this:
1. I can appreciate that (insert their request of you).
2. Right now, I am/we are (insert your present situation).
3. 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.