This past Wednesday night, my wife was out for a “girls” dinner, and I was home with my girls. We had a movie night, and they picked Yes Day. (It’s a fun family movie that I highly recommend.)
A Yes Day is exactly what you think it is… a day when the only answer you can give your kids is YES. Often as parents, we find ourselves feeling like the kings and queens of NO, so this was a relatable movie. As I snuggled with my girls, I was thinking about YES and NO and how each one has a WHY that we must own.
Saying YES without having a WHY to support it is a hollow YES.
But now let’s turn that around…
Saying NO without explaining the WHY leaves the other person hanging when there is an opportunity to learn what it will take for that NO to become a YES.
Sure some NOs will always be NO… period.
But most NOs are conditional.
If the circumstances were different or some factor changed, that NO may become a YES.
Each NO represents an opportunity to get clarity on the path to YES.
Effective communication goes beyond being direct with a YES or NO answer.
Effective communication requires connecting with the other person on the WHY, as this clarity is what gets us closer to the YES we can commit to.
When we say NO, we have an opportunity to create clarity by explaining our WHY, which also creates clarity on what it takes to get a YES.
Our WHYs help us learn about each other and create stronger connections while getting us closer to the next YES.