The Art of No

16 Jan

I have trouble saying no. I also have trouble giving recommendations without sounding scripted. One thing my manager noted was that I come in prepared, but the second a curve ball question is brought into the game, I stumble. I definitely want to make a point of becoming more assertive with my thoughts and ideas in a work setting, but as a whole as well. ( I can hold a conversation at any point with anyone, but having a hard conversation is not something I enjoy. Then again, though, who does?)

My boss sent me an interesting article from Bu that he read that he felt would give insights into other methods to target my struggles with assertiveness. The piece references Jia Jiang’s “100 Days of Rejection Therapy“. Sounds like a weird way to improve oneself, right? Well, it is based on his idea that once you’re used to the strange looks, rude comments, and outright dismissal of every thing you’re trying to achieve, you’ll be able to overcome whatever makes you nervous: having the hard conversations (my situation), asking someone out, or—in Jiang’s case—seeking funding for your tech startup. He documents these experiences on his blog and has gotten much traction from them. The example I put above, he accounts the instance by saying, “One thing I found interesting was the power of encouraged humor. Learning: rejection or not, humor lubricates the conversation for both parties. When you are engaged in a negotiation session or sales pitch, be open to laugh at other’s jokes.”

A quote from Jobs referenced in the article really nutshells Jiang’s experiment and experience well as a whole,“You’ve got to be willing to crash and burn,” he told the Silicon Valley Historical Association in 1994. “If you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far.” You have to love a Jobs quote. (Did you catch that?)

Do you agree? Would you ever try this method?

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