Your Growth Guide: It’s Okay To Say No With Dorie Clark

By Mo Bunnell

It’s Okay To Say No With Dorie Clark

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Welcome LinkedIn friends! Your weekly insight to grow your relationships and book of business.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Dorie Clark author of The Long Game, as well as named one of the Top 50 Business Thinkers in the World.

Mo asked Dorie:

“With the concepts in her book The Long Game, how can we use those concepts to establish and build the relationship advantage?”

Dorie responded:

"Building strong relationships is something that is really important to me in terms of the work that I do with clients as a consultant and executive coach. So, I’m definitely on the same page as your listeners.

“One of the strategies that we talk about in The Long Game is actually… how to think through turning down offers and how to make sure that you are clearing your plate so that you have the time and space to connect with the right people.

As we become more successful as professionals, we are more in demand, and it almost seems inevitable that a large percentage of the people who want to spend time with us may not be the people we should be spending time with.

They are the folks who maybe “want to pick our brains,” or they are people who don’t seem to have a conception that we are busy or might have other things to do. It can be really hard and challenging to make that transition because we want to be nice, we want to pay it forward, and we might have connections to some of these folks, even if tenuous.

So it becomes really challenging to figure out how we can actually, in a nice way that is somehow able to preserve a relationship, deflect this, so I have the time and space to allocate the relationships that really matter.

That’s one of the pieces that I talk about. Really thinking through, how do we say no more often and feel comfortable doing it?”

Mo follows up:

“Well, you can’t just leave us there. Tell us how to do it! I’ve got to hear more."

Dorie responds:

“For sure! One of the strategies I’ve found to be most effective, and this seems very ironic and basic in some ways, but it is a hidden and powerful tool, is simply asking for more information because what I have really learned over time from my own experience is… There is a fairly large percentage of people who will reach out when they already have a sort of go-to solution in mind.

“Oh hey Mo, can you hop on a call for an hour with me?” “Can we get a coffee?” Whatever it is, they often won’t even tell you what it’s about, but they’ll say, “Can we do this thing?”

Oftentimes, when I was less experienced professionally, I would be sort of bullied into it by assuming, “If they’re asking for an hour of my time they must need it. It must be something important.” No! They often just have no idea. Sometimes the simple act of responding back, “Hey, what would you like to talk about?” is so incredibly powerful.”

Dive deeper into the conversation with Dorie Clark and learn how to say “No” more often and feel comfortable doing it here.

The more successful we become as professionals, the more in demand we are, and the people who want to spend time with us may not be the people that we should be spending time with.

Reflect on the alignment between your professional goals and your ability to assertively say no when necessary. How can mastering the art of setting boundaries positively impact your long-term career growth and overall success?

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Find out what Dorie Clark is up to here.

Thanks for reading!