Tomorrow's Professor Msg.#66 More Help With Saying "NO."

 
Folks:

It's not a bad thing that most of us work in places where it's more of
problem to get people to say "no" than to say "yes." Yet, saying "no" in
the right way to things we don't want or need to do so we can say "yes" to
what is really important, is a challenge all of us face. Here are some
suggestions on how to say "no" taken from the Introduction of the, Success
Guide for Knox Faculty, 2nd edition, August, 1998, p.5. Copies of the
complete guide are available for $5.00 by writing to Professor Penny S.
Gold, Box 45, Knox College, Galesburg, IL 61401.


Regards,
Rick Reis

UP NEXT: Asking the Right Questions in Class

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MORE HELP WITH SAYING "NO."

"That sounds interesting, but can I call you back tomorrow? I need a
little time to think about it before I decide."

"I'm sorry, but I've just got too many other commitments right now."

"I'd love to help, but I really don't have time for a formal commitment.
Maybe we could just talk once or twice."

"I'm afraid I'm not the best person to help you with this. Have you
thought about asking _______?


"Say no. Not all the time, of course. The College can't function, much
less thrive, without each of us contributing in a variety of ways to its
sustenance and to the ongoing innovation that makes this an interesting and
satisfying place in which to work. But you will be asked to do many more
things than you can do. When asked, get in the habit of saying that you
need a day to think about it - even if you're pretty sure you want to say
yes. And then take the time to figure out if this is something that:

(a) you have the talent or skill for,
(b) you have a strong interest in or commitment to, and
(c) will help you connect up with other people in the College you're
interested in working with.

"What keeps us from saying no? The pressures are somewhat different for
untenured and tenured. Untenured faculty may be concerned that one has please tenured faculty, the College administration, and students at every
turn. Tenured faculty sometimes think the College's welfare demands that
we do everything we possible can. Yes, the health and welfare of the
College depend on each one of us contributing beyond our teaching and
research to the service of the institution. But the institution will be
best served by having faculty who contribute out of commitment and interest in the ways best suited to each. It's not well served by having faculty worked to a frazzle doing tasks beyond us, or whose value we're not sure of. (A less common problem at Knox, but still existent, is people who don't say "yes" enough, which makes life even harder for people who have trouble saying "no.")"

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FINALLY, KEEP IN MIND THAT IT IS A LOT EASIER TO SAY "NO" TO THINGS YOU DON'T WANT TO DO IF YOU HAVE ALREADY SAID "YES" TO THINGS YOU DO WANT TO DO.

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