The Power In Saying No

While serving at a small church as a volunteer youth leader I learned the power of saying no. I found that during my time there many people asked me to help in different departments. At first I said yes to everyone who asked me for a helping hand. But I found that when I said yes to everyone, I was not able to give all my attention, energy, time, and focus on the youth department. Which was primarily my serving role. Realizing this, I knew I had to start saying no to some people so that I could say yes to the areas of my focus. I found this challenging but rewarding to do.

Effective leader’s have the ability to say no to good causes or opportunities so they can say yes to great ones. This allows a leader to focus in on the areas they desire without being weighed down by other responsibilities or commitments. This is the power in saying no.

Do you find it hard in saying no to others?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Bill (cycleguy)

    Depends on what it is. I have a harder time saying No when it involves ministry to a person than i do when it involves ministry to a program.

  • Elmer Boutin

    This is a hard one for many people, Dan. I know I certainly have a tough time telling people "No." But, as you point out, it's a very important leadership skill.

    Dave Ramsey tells in his classes that he hired an assistant to filter out requests to help him say "no" more effectively. She screens out most requests, telling them "no" for him. It's not that he doesn't want to help or speak at a particular function, but his time is very limited and he has to be very choosy in how he spends it.

    In the end, it comes to time management. You only have so much time and you need to pick and choose where you spend it in order to spend wisely.

  • healingleaf

    I really struggle with saying no.
    This past year was really tough because of this, and so I think I have turned a corner with regards to learning the importance of saying no. In order to be able to give my all to the things I said yes to I cannot bite off more than I can chew! (this goes for both the church and the world)

  • dan black

    Bill,
    I can see how that is. Saying no to a person or ministry is hard, even when you know the person. Thanks for stopping by.

  • dan black

    Elmer,
    Having someone like a secretary say no for you really can help you prioritize your life and time.

    I also have heard John Maxwell talk about having a "hatched team" which involves some inner circle people who decide which opportunity's he should accept. John Says that he can attend but not make any decisions.

    Thank you for reading and commenting. Hope to see you back soon.

    Dan

  • dan black

    Healing Leaf,

    Glad to hear you are growing in your ability to say no. Let me say it only get's easier. I agree with you about being able to say no in the world and ministry. Both are key to effectively manage your time and focus. Thank you for your insights.

  • Matthew

    This is so important, but for me it is also a struggle. I have struggled for years with the desire to avoid confrontation. My various experiences in leadership have helped to force me to confront the fear of confrontation though, and I have learned to say no easier. It is still a struggle for me though.

  • Becky

    I used to have trouble but because great people like you are sharing that saying is no to some things is a good thing I've been able to say no as needed typically or figure out which one has a higher priority so I know which to say yes and which no.

  • dan black

    Matthew,
    It sounds like you are becoming better at conflict and also saying no. Some time conflict happens because of us saying no. But we need to let people know our hearts in saying no. Glad you stopped by.

  • dan black

    Becky,
    Thank you for the complement. I feel humbled you would say that. Glad to be here to help. Keeping making your priority's your focus.