In today’s work place and budget cuts, It is way too easy to over commit ourselves at work. Being good at your work makes you a target for overload. The quote that says 80% of the work is being done by 20% of the people is sometimes true.
I see so many young leaders who are eager to advance and the word “NO” is not in their vocabulary. Many times we reach the place where we may feel connected to work and our task list 24/7. This could be a sign that you may have a problem with work balance and over commitment.
Some think the solution to breaking the habit of over committing is as simple as saying NO more often. I think we are more guilty of saying yes and then breaking the promise than we are at saying no and then changing our minds. In every work relationship, there is an opportunity to either build or tear down trust by keeping your commitments.
Many young leaders made this mistake because they want to be popular by saying Yes, even when they should have said no. This is a classic mistake in all kinds of relationships. This may even cost some their jobs by not keeping their promises.
Have you ever asked a friend to do something and they quickly respond by saying they will try to make it. Well, that is a nice way to say no. In most cases, you won’t see them show up at all. Even facebook give you a option to say maybe on an invitation to an event.
Every time we say yes to a request – we mentally choose the level of commitment that is connected or related to that yes. When our Yes commitments start to conflict – we tend to fall back on that level of mental commitment. Naturally, the boss gets first priority on our task list and we tend to push back other yes items. The Yes level of priority with another coworker or friends can put our relationships and outcomes at risk. Saying Yes too quickly without thinking it through can create many communication problems and leadership failures.
Behind every Yes – There should be these 3 considerations:
1. Are you being asked to take ownership for the results of the request? The greatest reward for full commitment
2 Are you asked to give assistance to someone else? A chance to learn and gain knowledge?
3. Does saying Yes put you out of balance with other commitments? If so, what steps do you have to make to do both? What is the cost or risk to your leadership?
and finally, Is saying yes – in your best interest to do in the long run? Does it prepare you for the next level ?