An Strategy For Saying ‘YES’ To You | Tackling Tough Conversations

“I am working with new team members almost everyday. Effective communication will be the key to my achieving my goals and meeting my deliverables.”–Sucharita Sue Bhattacharyya, project manager with the pharmaceutical giant Merck, is attending our January LadyDrinks Fireside Chat speaker Fran Hauser event.

Fran is the author of “The Myth of the Nice Girl,”  This former AOL and Time Warner executive offers tools and language on how we as women don’t have to be passive, a pushover or weak in order to be strong in the workplace.

Dear ladies:

I’m just back from a New Years trip to Toronto.  We did a series of dinners with members who were in town from from LadyDrinks London, Toronto and New York.  Toronto member Vicky Vyas booked wonderful restaurants ‘where the locals go:’  Mediterranean, Italian, and Spanish fare. So much good food. My waistline and liver are fuller, but I went with the intention to truly unplug for a few days.

And I did, for which I am grateful.

One of the topics that came up over dinner conversation was ‘people pleasing.’ Said another way, we as women are guilty sometimes of saying ‘yes’ too much to others, and not saying ‘yes’ to ourselves.

Part of the accountability circle exercises I have been hosting with members since 2017 is to establish goals. We can have up to to five, but as my women’s empowerment teacher imparted back in 2010, we can really focus on two at a time.

Post these goals everywhere. On your desktop. On your bathroom mirror. These goals/priorities then become the filter by which you decide what you say ‘yes’ to or ‘no’ to.  As you can imagine, I get a lot of requests to attend events and support various causes. My number 1 goal: Make LadyDrinks a resource for South Asian businesswomen and my number 2 goal: Extreme self-care. If accepting a dinner invite does not move the needle forward on either, then the answer is ‘no.’
Remember you have a finite amount of energy in a day. LadyDrinks guest speaker and author Laura Vanderkam shared that we wake up every morning with a reserve of energy. That reserve depletes over the course of the day.  Saying ‘yes’ to things that deplete that energy are effectively saying ‘no’ to our goals.

Don’t explain. In the beginning, I would offer an explanation about why I said no.  I’ve learned by observation, that the strongest women leaders around me say ‘no’ and stop there. No explanation. Folks, who respect that you have a busy schedule, will understand.

If you’re struggling with what to say, write it down. Process your thoughts. Practice what you need to say. Over time, that ‘no’ muscle will get stronger and you will be choosing yourself over time, gracefully and with ease.
As you know, our first event of the year is with featured author Fran Hauser.  I’ve heard her speak twice last year and we are so lucky to have her come to speak to LadyDrinks. Based on her experiences as a long time executive at Time Warner and AOL, she wrote a book called “The Myth of the Nice Girl” arming women with actionable tools you can say ‘no’ but nicely and with the message that you have boundaries. Buy tix here.  Paid members, you have been emailed the discount code.
Happy New Year! Joya

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