A friend of mine is being wooed by a potential employer. She told the hiring manager she couldn’t start a new job for 3 months. He asked for reasons. For each reason she gave, he had an excellent and logical reason for the opposite position. The more reasons she gave, he more he countered. By the end of the conversation my friend felt like she was being manipulated and backed into a corner.
I had a similar experience as I was negotiated for meeting space with the sales manager of a hotel. The sales manager wanted me to one thing “A,” I wanted to do another, “B.”
When I proposed “B,” she had a number of persuasive arguments to do “A.” I stood firm. Finally, she said “We can do “B,” but can you explain why you wouldn’t want to do “A” when you know “X”?
I knew that for every reason I gave, she’d have an equally good counter argument. I declined to explain. I simply stated I want to do “B.”
Apparently she wanted some of my business, even if she couldn’t achieve “A.” And she agreed to write the contract for “B.”
If I’d started down the path of giving reasons, I could still stand for what I wanted, but it have been would harder. And I know that I would have left with a bad taste in my mouth. And if she had talked me out of my No, I’d be pissed – at her and at myself.
And that’s why we don’t give excuses in Satir’s Soft Spurn.
(If you can’t see using Satir’s Soft Spurn with your boss — and sometimes it’s not the most effective approach — tune in later for more about saying No and making it stick.)