All of us want to avoid confrontation, this holds good in our everyday life, be it with family, friends, coworkers, or clients. Hence the general tendency is to say yes regardless of how unnecessary the ask was in the first place. In my article, I have covered the concept of saying “No” in detail. Read on to understand how and when to say No.
Requirements change at every single meeting, this is a serious problem, and the customer changes the specs for the system. First, they want this, then they want that. First, they want it in this way, then in that way., it could be a feature, the way they want a certain data to flow, etc. The Developers who work on these requirements are generally not comfortable to adapt & probably are going crazy in their minds, cursing the customer, TL, and the Manager.
Generally, no one in the team shows their disagreement, for some reason agreeing with everything, which has become a norm under the guise of professionalism. Also, we have grown up with the concept of “customer is always right”. Most of the time clients will be under pressure, they want the change regardless of the efforts involved.
Only when the team loses it, gets angry, snaps at the customer shows the disagreement physically by pounding on the table, closing laptops, etc., this is when the client understands that some of the requested changes may be unreasonable and most of the time customers start treating them better.
There are two primary learning from such incidents:
1) Know when to say “No” to a customer
Trust is generally built when you say no when the answer is no. This generally shows a deeper understanding of the project, the technicalities, limitations, and possibilities. End of the day even customers are human and would like to finish the projects as soon as possible.
2) Express your emotions at work
It's generally a good idea to show your genuine feelings. There's this myth in the workplace that we come to work as rational beings, with no emotions. That is simply not true; we are as happy, angry, sad, thrilled, disappointed, and excited at work as we are outside of it. Never display anything that isn't good for you.
The ability to say "Yes!" is one of the keys to happiness at work. When a new idea comes along, someone asks for your assistance, or a coworker suggests a new approach, saying "Yes" is what gets things moving. Change becomes extremely difficult if all ideas and suggestions are met with a "No" (or a "Yes, but...").
But it's equally important to say no when the answer is no. If you can't say "No" at work, your "Yes" has no meaning. Nobody is really saying yes if you work in a company where "Yes" has somehow become the only acceptable answer, implying that compliance is forced on employees. They don't even have a choice. Demotivation, cynicism, and covert sabotage are unavoidable outcomes.
I hope you all enjoyed my article, fasten your seat belts, and await my upcoming article.
Gopi Ramamurthy is a Global Delivery Head at Chimera Technologies. His hobbies are visiting historical places and getting to know various cultures across the world.