Feb 21 – The Polite “No”

Say Yes to your dreams means learning how to say NO to what won't help you get there.

Say Yes to your dreams means learning how to say NO to what won't help you get there.

Cheetah Certified Project Manager (CCPM) Tip of the Day

February 21 – When you are clear about how you are using your time to pursue your important life goals, it is easier to decline invitations, requests for assistance, and other opportunities. Thank people for considering you, and politely decline.


Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP

What a nice problem to have – more invitations for engagement than you have time to fulfill. But yes, it can and does happen to many of us at some point in time in our lives. (It might not always happen, so relish the times that it does). As you learn how to say “no” to those things that don’t serve you, you make room to say “yes” to those things that do.

I had a very interesting experience of this when listening to Keith Ferazzi, author of “Never Eat Alone.” I was at a Yale Women’s Alumni meeting in New York City. A mutual friend of Keith and I invited me to hear him speak. Now, I need to explain, Keith was here speaking to a group of fairly successful women all around the age where most had at least one child, if not several more, they were juggling raising with the demands of a successful career. Keith made it clear that he was a very “out” gay male with really no significant interests in caring for children. So it was pretty clear from the get-go he wasn’t that in touch with the needs of his audience. Keith’s suggestion is that you make time every week for at least five professional networking events. How, pray tell, is a woman who is managing a busy career and raising children supposed to fit this requirement into the mix? Networking for most of us moms with children in school happens around the children’s activities (which is why where your children go to school REALLY matters). I inquired how a busy mom was supposed to fit this in, hoping to hear some sage advice from the king of networking. And his reply was, “if it’s important enough to you, you’ll do it.” Well there you go – we all get to choose what is important enough to us. Lucky for my children, I consistently picked them. I got ample opportunity to learn how to politely decline the many networking opportunities I was invited to, but had to miss.

It’s critical to have a solid moral compass on what is most important to you in life. Make time for that and be extremely particular on all the other “optional” events you could do. In the Cheetah Certified Project Manager program, you learn how to assign a value to what various measures of success mean to you and weigh how well your opportunities in life will help you achieve that success. Become a CCPM and discover where you not only say “No” in your life, but how to make room for all the places you want to say “YES.”

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