WT 623 For what purpose

As always, I love to hear your feedback and especially to know that you are sharing the thoughts with your friends, family and colleagues.

Last week I received a number of responses regarding saying “No”. Thanks everyone for your replies.

There is one response in particular that I want to share with you.

It comes from a long time reader and supporter, John Lizzio. Thank you John.

John shared that his colleague Catherine Cooper Norwood (RIP) used to say the three most important words in any language are “For what Purpose”.

A question to be asked constantly and then followed by a resounding “Yes” or a respectful and polite “No, thank you”.

I love this.

It’s a great question to ask, especially when you feel like you may have been ambushed into saying “Yes” when you really want to say “No”.

Another little gem I picked up along the way comes from the late Geoff Kirkwood. Geoff used to say, “Questions are the Answer”.

It took me a while to wrap my head around this until he demonstrated it beautifully one time.

We were having a meeting at a venue on the Central Coast and one of the hospitality staff came in and asked us to relocate to another room.

Geoff didn’t want to move rooms. He responded with, “Are you asking us to pack up and move into another room, when we’ve booked this one and already set up?”


With that, the staff member reconsidered the request and we got to stay in the room.

In our leadership experience we explore the reasons why we say “Yes” when we really want to say “No”. Feeling ambushed is one of them.

I also highly recommend you read or listen to the book, “Never Split the Difference” by Christopher Voss and Tahl Raz. They share many strategies and scripts, of which repeating a statement that sounds like a question is one. For example, using the room relocation request above, we could also respond with “So you want us to pack up and move to another room?”  It’s what I call a Statement/Question.  Aussies are so good at these.  So good, that we often confuse people from other countries when we make a statement but end in a high pitch which turns it into a question.

Your challenge this week is to practise the above tips and techniques. You do want your time back, don’t you?

P.S.  Early Bird Discount, (saving up to $1500) for our August Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience ends on 30th June, 2022. More info here:https://shirleydalton.com/leading-yourself-leading-others-may2020/

P.P.S.  Buy the Book – The Loyal Lieutenant – How The Second-in-Command Brings The CEO’s Vision To Life. Order your copy here, https://shirleydalton.com/books

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