Capital on the Two Most Important Phrases in Business

image title

At Capital we have read many business writers opinions about the simple importance of two words in business. The word ‘yes’ and the word ‘no’, and the strategic importance of knowing when to use which. In a culture where positivity is paramount, it’s easy to get mired down in saying yes to everything, and lose the focus that leads to success. On the contrary a person who says no all the time can miss many opportunities. Gaining a focused and determined mindset is fundamentally linked to mastering these words and their targeted usage.

However here at Capital we’d like to take this idea one step further. We believe that any simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is a missed opportunity. Instead, you can supercharge the positive outcomes of any scenario, by making two simple edits to these common responses.

“Yes, and…”

Simply saying yes to a suggestion or idea creates an opportunity, but also simultaneously creates a cap on the potential of that opportunity. Every time you say ‘yes’, try instead creating more opportunity by expanding upon and complementing the original statement. Not only will you gain more opportunity from interactions, but you will gain a reputation as a proactive person.

“I think we should do x.”

“Yes, and as well as that, let’s do y.”

“No, but…”

It is an absolute certainty that in your career you will have to say no to an idea or request. However this doesn’t have to be a negative. At Capital we believe that any negative can be converted and re-framed into a positive, by recognizing any value it does have, and using it as a basis for something positive. Try following your ‘no’ with some positive feedback, or an offer of an alternative to the suggestion.

“I think we should do x.”

“No that won’t work, but I can see what you’re going for. Let’s figure out another solution.”

“I think we should do x.”

“No, but how about we do y instead.”