Yes, one of my roles as a producer is usually finding a way to say yes; yes you can hang upside down as human piñatas and be beaten with sticks, yes I can get you a reindeer in July tomorrow, yes those pants look great on you, but how can I find the way to say no and not take on the stigma of being the bad guy?
I for one don’t like looking in the face of my favorite rock star, client, or kid and crushing their spirit and possibly their dream of doing something they have always wanted to do, but I’ve come to discover that saying no to one thing can be a way of saying yes to another.
Each time I say no for the right reasons, safety, fiscal responsibility, or for my own sanity, I am empowering others and myself to be creative in problem solving and think outside the box. And when said with willingness to learn and a lack of righteousness, no can command respect and appreciation from others.
If you find yourself challenged with drawing a boundary or protecting the best interest of your client or yourself, consider trying on these approaches to boost your confidence and create relationships that honor collaboration and possibility.
• No means know: Be informed. Making good decisions depends on having accurate information so take the time to talk to all the players involved and get their input. If you still feel no is the best answer, saying no shows the courage of your convictions and your belief in what you are doing.
• Role Play: Who doesn’t enjoy a good fantasy now and again: oh, that may be too much information, but if you’re trying to be certain you are making the best decision, try on the other idea and see how it fits. Play the role of the yes person and you may find worthwhile elements to work with going forward.
• Accentuate the positive: Every idea no matter how crazy it may sound has opportunities and buried treasures in it. Acknowledge the creativity it took to come up with the idea and you’ll be paving the way for alternative suggestions and feel much better about saying no.
• Conserve Energy: Yes, be green in all possible things but in this case I mean if you say, "Yes," when you want to say, "No," you’ll feel resentful if you end up doing what you don’t really want to do. There’s no doubt this will deplete you, drain your energy and can be avoided if you speak your truth and say no. And the weight you are carrying from not being yourself will be lifted off your shoulders.
• Be Kind to Yourself: Speaking your truth is a courageous act and may not always be met with appreciation and consensus but acknowledging yourself for your honesty and willingness builds that muscle and makes it easier the next time. Reward yourself. Yogurt with toppings for everyone!!!
P.S. If you want to see the time I said yes to the human piñata request…check this video out.
Foo Fighters This Video Sucks
See you on set,