As a leader, one of the most valuable skills you can cultivate is the ability to be intentional with your "yes." I facilitated a class with the International Coaching Group for a group of coaches, addressing the importance of streamlining and focusing their time. When we reached the topic of saying "no," many found it challenging. So, I reframed it by asking them, "What will you say 'yes' to?" This shift made it easier for them to consider their responses.
You are often faced with requests, opportunities, and demands on your time and resources. In this fast-paced and ever-changing landscape, it's crucial to understand the significance of your "yes" and how it can impact your effectiveness as a leader. Many opportunities and demands vie for your attention, making it easy to fall into the habit of saying "yes" to everything that comes your way.
Sometimes, we don't think and just reply "yes" to things people ask us. This can affect not only you but also your team and others around you. It can lead to being overcommitted, exhausted, burnt out, and having scattered focus. Leaders who say "yes" too frequently, without consideration or discernment, are often stretched too thin, unable to deliver on promises, and experience burnout. This can even affect your personal life, leaving you feeling more stressed and anxious.
Benefits of an Intentional "Yes":
If you're more intentional with your "yes," you will see a more positive outcome in your professional and personal life. This will lead to increased productivity and a higher level of personal satisfaction. You will be more pleased with your work because you're able to focus and not be stretched so thin. Being intentional with your "yes" will also build trust with your team as they see you being more reliable.
What are practical ways to be more intentional with your “Yes”?
Set Clear Priorities: Identify what is most important to you in life. What do you want to spend your time doing, and what matters most? Ensure that each "yes" aligns with these priorities.
Manage Your Time: Set boundaries to manage your time more effectively. This can also include learning how to delegate tasks to others more efficiently.
Create Regular Check-ins with Yourself: This may sound silly, but it's crucial! Ask yourself, "Does this opportunity align with my long-term goals?" or, "Will saying 'yes' to this compromise my well-being?"
In a world that often glorifies a "yes", take a moment to reflect on the consequences of your responses, considering how it will affect your life and well-being. Being more intentional with this word can transform your leadership style, making you more effective as a leader and feeling more fulfilled in all areas of your life.