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The Power of a Positive No!

In today’s economy, can we really afford to say No?

Can we refuse a particular client project? Can we resign from an abusive client? Can we release a productive partner or colleague who has a bad attitude?

Yes, we can. In fact, we will benefit from saying YES to our values and NO to people and situations compromising them.

That’s the premise of William Ury’s best-selling, The Power of A Positive No: How To Say No and Still Get to Yes, recommended by my sister Anne Donnellon, an accomplished professor at Babson College. Ury directs the renowned Harvard Global Negotiation Project and co-wrote the best-seller Getting to Yes.

Ury’s believes that a Positive No Means Yes to your values, business and personal fulfillment, and most likely to your own personal success. The values of a positive No are:

  • Create your own wants.
  • Protect what you value.
  • Change what no longer works.

Ury recommends realizing these values in three stages:

  1. Prepare your positive no — you uncover your Yes, empower your No, and respect your way to Yes.
  2. Deliver your positive no — you express your Yes, assert your No and propose a Yes.
  3. Follow through on your positive no – what’s most important is that as you stay true to your Yes, underscore your No and negotiate to Yes.

Ury believes that the Power of a Positive No is like a tree. Your positive No is a strong trunk rooted in a deeper Yes and blossoming into a broader Yes.

This approach may seem really soft to business folks, but No is the key word in your strategic focus.

Ury cites Southwest Airlines, the most successful U.S. airline, and the original model for low-cost airlines worldwide. Southwest’s secret is to deliver a positive No to its customers. In order to say Yes to success and profitability (the first Yes), its strategy is to say No to reserved seats, No to hot meals and No to inter-airline baggage transfers.

Saying No to these three perceived essential passenger benefits enables Southwest to organize its planes for an incredibly quick turnaround. This then allows Southwest to say Yes (the second Yes) to affordable fares and to convenient schedules with reliable frequent flights — the qualitiesmost valued by its customers.

So, saying No may seem soft, but it is really strategic and valuable in your business and personal life too.

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Three-Stage Plan Boosts Creativity

Your ears are intake valves, feeding your mind the raw materials that can be converted into creative power and ideas.

copyright tombaky 123RF Stock PhotoNothing is learned from telling, and there is no limit to what we can learn by asking and listening.

Try this three-stage plan to boost your creativity through asking and listening, as proposed by David J Schwartz in The Magic of Thinking Big:

  1. Encourage others to talk — draw out people with little urges such as “Tell me about your experience…” or “What do you think should be done about…?”  Encouragement yields a double-barreled victory: your mind soaks up raw materials that you can use to produce creative thoughts and win friends.
  2. Test your views in the form of questions — try questions like “What do you think of this suggestion…?”  Don’t be dogmatic. Don’t announce a fresh idea as if it were handed down on a golden tablet. Do a little informal research first. See how your associates react to it.
  3. Concentrate on what the other person says — listening is more than just keeping your mouth shut. Listening means letting what is said penetrate your mind. So often people pretend to listen when they aren’t listening at all. They’re just waiting for the other person to pause so they can take over the talking. Concentrate on what the other person says. Evaluate it.

What are your listening strategies to boost creativity?

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These 7 Values Drive Newsworthy Products and Services

Company and brands often claim to have the latest and most “innovative” product or service. They are “one of a kind” and “never been done before.”

Having that confidence is powerful in your sales and marketing efforts. But you must remember that reporters, bloggers and customers are bombarded with such claims. So, what makes your story newsworthy enough to earn media coverage?

Copyright oligliya 123RF Stock PhotoI counsel my clients to be mindful of these seven news values when plotting their product introduction stories and messages:

  1. Novelty – demonstrably different service or product in color, size, shape, design, etc. Beats headphones.
  2. Impact – involves large numbers and size and market disruption. Uber now in 54 countries.
  3. Needs – market’s asking for something to fulfill their needs or didn’t even know they could be produced. the iPad introduction.
  4. Conflict – industry debate on issue or challenge. One standard versus another. The market challenger taking on the leader. Net neutrality is a perfect example.
  5. Prominence – leader introduces a product, service or makes a proclamation about the market now and the future that commands attention. The College Football Playoffs, whose semi-final games set cable TV viewing records at 28.3 million viewers per game.
  6. Proximity – news is happening in our backyard and to our hometown person, product, office or plant. Product introductions at the opening of Chicago beaches annually. Thinking warm this week.
  7. Timeliness – ties in with event, season occasion (e.g. major event, holiday, opening of season). Think Father’s or Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Christmas gift ideas.

Focus on any of these values or combinations of them, and you will have plenty of publicity success!

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