The people to whom we say no rarely like hearing it, and it’s no wonder. Our saying no signals rejection-----of their ideas, of their wishes, of their priorities. Consequently, most people will try to get us to change the no to a yes. That means we have to work to defuse emotion on both sides: our discomfort at staying with an unpopular no and our counterpart’s irritation, disappointment, or anger at hearing it.We could, of course, cut the Gordian knot by giving in. But in the end, the consequences of not staying with no can cause much more damage-----to your self-confidence, to your relationship with the other person, and to your credibility and effectiveness as a professional.
If we want to reduce the tension around staying with no, we will do better to think not about whether to stay with no, but how.
It helps to recognize why your counterparts want to yes the no and readjust your own emotional response to their efforts:
Business culture: It isn’t inherently insulting to you that the other person wants you to back off your no-----it’s part of our business climate to try to yes the no.