As the community manager and Madame of the Cohere Coworking Space, I’m always surprised to hear the members ask me for something tempered with, “it’s okay if you say NO, I’ll understand.” The funny part is, about 98% of the time, I say YES and this has been true since we started coworking a year ago.
So why is everyone assuming they’ll get a NO?
We’re conditioned to use and hear the word NO. It’s one of the first directive commands our parents used to impart safety info when we got to close to the stove. As kids we were taught to “Just Say No.” We assume we’ll get a NO when we call customer service because companies make it nearly impossible to reach a human. Time management experts have been telling us to say NO in order to find more balance.
In a world of expected NOs, why say YES?
Yes/No isn’t binary. Saying NO is easy. You can do it without thinking, like a reflex, and the discussion can be over (do you want fries with that?). Saying YES is where the magic happens. Saying YES opens a door, saying NO closes one. To say YES, you have to consider what impact your decision will have. Saying YES usually requires something to change; maybe on your part, maybe on mine. In the absence of physical doors at Cohere, stands to reason that I’d default to YES.
Did I make a conscious decision to always say YES? NO. In fact, starting Cohere is what re-wired my brain to start saying YES. The brilliant part of coworking is that is driven by PEOPLE. If there are NO people, there is NO community and there is NO business.
Do your customers a favor. Start saying YES. What will you say YES to today?
Image credit: renaissancechambara