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The Power of No

Updated: May 18, 2018



How to Use It to Your Advantage:


No. These two little letters carry a lot of clout. “No (teenage son), you

can’t have the keys to the car, tonight.” “No (employee), you aren’t

getting the promotion.” For a word with such a negative connotation,

it represents an alluring attribute: a sense of control for the person

using it.


Who likes to be told no? Not the three-year-old with his hand in the

cookie jar, the 13-year-old who wants to stay up late or the 30-year-

old asking the boss for a raise. For the person exercising their right to

say no, it means, “you can’t make me do anything I don’t want to do”.

It’s a visceral reaction. For as many people who avoid hearing it,

there are just as many who use it to control.


It seems counterintuitive. But getting a no upfront is actually the most

effective way to negotiate. It’s critical to the discovery process.