Say yes, and work it out later

Written on 3 November 2016

Having spent the last month or so focussed on sales to increase my own business, it struck me that the attitude of saying yes and then worrying about it later is evident everywhere you look (and yes.. i did say yes to a few things that I didnt even understand...) 

What does everyone else do in that situation? Maybe we need a help support network on here to brainstorm ideas and discuss expertise! 


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Submitted on 4 November, 2016 - 10:59

Hi Chris and just to check, are you referring to selling something (saying yes) when you don't understand the client's problem or what they are really trying to achieve?  I think that's what you are saying but just want to check before responding because it isn't totally clear to me from reading your posting.  Warmly, Dorothy



Submitted on 4 November, 2016 - 14:59

Hi Chris, 

I have learned to say 'yes' and to do as you say, 'figure out how to do it'.  I said yes to quite a few projects this year and I am very glad I did, as I learned loads and stretched myself out of the comfort zone.  Now.. a word of caution, I did not say 'yes' when it was absolutely outside my area e.g., Agile or Lean Six Sigma or Health/Safety Stress Management to name a few of which were asked of me but I declined. I also declined a request for 'Presentations skills' training because, you know, I just did not want to do it! But, I did not leave the client down, I made a recommendation and followed-up afterwards.  The same, for two requests which involved travel and I had other priorities which had to take precedence over them, again I made alternative recommendations.  So, what I do, is ask myself, am I thinking of saying no because it is new, different, a stretch, out of the comfort zone, if yes, then I say yes!  And it all worked out, really well.

Hope this adds to the mix.

Anne Marie



Submitted on 5 November, 2016 - 15:26

Yes Chris, I agree.  I've been working on that basis for a while, sparked in part by a former colleague saying it to me.  I've realised that not everything comes off, that saying yes is the first step to getting the work (not necessarily the final one) and, like Anne-Marie, it's given me some stretch.  I've learned more from extending myself.  I've realised I'm more resourceful than I thought.  It's been quite an eye opener.  Risky though it might seem I think it's a good thing and is a bit like 'feel the fear and do it anyway', within reason of course.

ChrisScott (not verified)

Submitted on 8 November, 2016 - 15:36

Hi Dorothy, apologies for the tardy response. What I meant was, I find myself saying yes to things when i do fully understand what the client wants and I know that I know absolutely nothing about it. It's reassuring to see that others scale that cliff face daily as well. 

Pushing outside of the comfort zone i think is the best way to describe it... I seem to be free falling out of my comfort zone at the moment!! 


Submitted on 9 November, 2016 - 11:13

Thanks for responding Chris, and I'm curious.  How do you decide on the limits of what you will take on and what you won't?

As an example, I don't regard myself as a facilitation specialist but as a coach I realise I have related skills and happily facilitate all sorts of discussions.  At the same time, I know I don't have health and safety knowledge and so providing health and safety training for rock climbers isn't something I'd take on, though I might facilitate a discussion with a client about what might be needed to improve H&S in house.

Just wondering...



Submitted on 10 November, 2016 - 10:18

Maybe there's another way of addressing this question:

On a scale between Hillary Clinton-style preparedness and Donald Trump-style winging it, where do you want to be when you take on something new?  And why?



ChrisScott (not verified)

Submitted on 5 December, 2016 - 12:10

It appears I have no limits on what I say yes to... and it's taken me on a wonderful journey. It might scare me daily but i've come to realise that it's how I do my best work - and have said yes to so much that I have a nice little network of trusted associates that i can call on too... so there's always someone for me to learn from!