How to get to ‘yes’ when everyone is saying ‘no’

Friday, February 7th, 2014 By Jack Nevison

Leading a team does not mean that those you manage will accept what you say without question. So be prepared for disagreements. This is to be expected, and is in fact a good thing, as a healthy debate is critical to any important deliberation. However, leaders who want to defend their position and convince the skeptics should consider these tips offered by a recent article on

The article reassures managers that a 'no' is not necessarily the end to a business negotiation. There is still room to debate the issue, provided that you are patient.

"Most people will do more to avoid pain than achieve pleasure, so the first impulse most people have when asked to make a decision is to find reasons not to make that decision," the article reads. "That usually takes the form of a 'no' when what's actually meant is 'maybe.'"

Sometimes, the problem is that your team member does not have all the information necessary to make a decision. This is an opportunity to be persuasive, while backing up your argument with relevant facts. Other times, a 'no' may mean that the timing or circumstances are wrong.

For that reason, you should put a limit how hard you actually try to push your case. Arguing can quickly become annoying even in a business setting. The article recommends that managers take time to ask questions. This way, you may be able to find out what is keeping your team member from saying yes to your idea.

A negotiation takes time and patience. At New Leaf Project Management, our 2-day program, "Constructive Project Negotiation," will show you how to reach lasting agreements within your team, and between the project team and the project stakeholders. In addition, our online games and white papers let you learn while you earn PDU credits for PMP recertification.

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