What Others Are Sayin…

Josh has an incredible heart for God and is passionate about helping create environments that lead people to experience God.  He has tremendous gifts that enable him to help churches advance the Kingdom of God.

Why Saying No Is Sometimes Better Than Saying Yes

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Leadership

Recently, I was contacted by an artist, that were I to mention their name to you, you’d most certainly think I was awesome. I could play it all cool and name drop it like it’s hot and you’d probably look at me differently and would say something like, “oh man, do you think you could get me tickets or an autograph or…”

I know this because even a couple of my closest friends, who I love and respect did just that.

Why Saying No Is Sometimes Better Than Saying Yes

Photo Credit: Robb North via Compfight cc

Funny how that works!

Now I’ve been blessed to work alongside some truly gifted people. I’ve watched oceans of fans, scream and worship at the altar of adoration. And I’ve been a part of some of the awesomest experiences you could ever imagine!

It would have been a great joy and honor to work with this particular artist, and maybe one day I will.

But as of right now, who knows.

I’ve not been told yes, or no.

And that’s frustrating.

But it got me to thinking about how many other times in my life, I’ve sat waiting for a response of some kind.

So many times I’ve either mustered up the courage to ask for help, or cried out in agony seeking help, only to be on the receiving end of a giant abyss created by the absence of response.

“You’re actions speak so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

As a man and father, I’m teaching my kids, especially my boys, the power of their words. But even in that message rests an even greater truth – that the absence of our words says more than our spoken or written words ever could.

Something mystical happens when we speak words into existence or write them down. (that would be an awesome tweet)

I’m learning that as a leader, one of the greatest gifts I can give someone is the gift of a no.

And if you’re anything like me, that’s hard to do. I want to please everyone, make everyone happy. I exhaust tremendous amounts of energy trying to stay one step ahead, managing everyone’s expectations and trying to ensure their needs are met.

This is dangerous, not to mention, an incredibly unhealthy way to live.

But we don’t always choose to live healthy lives, do we?

Instead we do whatever it takes to meet our perceived need or unmet longing – many times at the risk of being healthy.

That’s why we refuse to respond sometimes, or resist to set a boundary, telling someone no. We’re afraid we’ll make a mistake, or even worse, hurt someone’s feelings.

“Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned.” James 5:12 NLT

It’s one of the simplest definitions of character and integrity, letting our yes be our yes and our no be our no.

I can’t tell you how many times I would have loved to hear a simple no.

Whether it was from an employer, or from a friend, to have been told no would have been so much sweeter to hear, than the cavernous echo of nothing.

What would you rather hear?

Being told no can be a beautiful thing, because it sets a boundary, and boundaries are good things. (another awesome tweet)

Have you ever been on the receiving end of that cavernous echo?

Have you ever been in a situation where you were glad to hear a no?

Share your comments below!



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Josh Collins

Josh Collins is a Communicator and Experience Architect who lives in Franklin, Tn. His passion is to create awesome experiences that change the way we engage audiences and help you do the same.
  • http://www.annepeterson.com/ Anne Peterson

    Actually, I heard a “no,” today. Not so great. But, I’m proud of myself for risking. Because we’ll never hear a “yes,” if we don’t ask. I think that was a Jeff Goins quote. Anyway, really liked your post. I agree that it’s hard waiting in the abyss, but at least when you haven’t heard anything there is still a chance. But for those times when people don’t get back to you at all. Yeah, those are rough.

    Boundaries are important and as a recovering people-pleaser it used to baffle me when people thought their “no” was caring. I used to presume if they liked me they would tell me “yes.” That came from a strict and I mean STRICT upbringing. We were not allowed our own thoughts, It was always whatever they said. No questions whatsoever. Much happier with boundaries and the understanding if you love someone you can accept their “no.”

  • http://www.shelleydupont.com/ Shelley DuPont

    Or, how about the times when we’ve offered our services on a volunteer basis, only to be thankful to hear a “No, we don’t need you, this time.” Phew! Another thing is why is it so easy to deliver a “No” to some and not to others? That’s one thing I’m annoyed with about myself. I also would rather have an either-or over no response at all.

  • http://www.allofthethingsrachel.blogspot.com/ rachelcb

    Hearing nothing is so much more frustrating than hearing no. Because the longer I hear nothing, the more ridiculous the stories that I tend to make up get!

    • http://www.thejoshcollins.com/ Josh Collins

      This is so true Rachel! You are not alone!

  • http://www.petermorneault.com/ Peter F. Morneault

    I have definitely spent a lot of time in the cavernous echo. Not a fun place to be. I believe every life experience hides a life lesson. Nice post Josh!

    • http://www.thejoshcollins.com/ Josh Collins

      Peter, thanks for sharing. You offer wise words, every experience does in fact teach us something!

  • Lucie

    “Have you ever been on the receiving end of that cavernous echo?”
    Yes! Or, perhaps even worse, the answer had little to do with the question.

Posted on: July 19, 2013

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