This video is unavailable.
Sorry about that.

Saying no is hard. These communication tips make it easy. | Michelle Tillis Lederman

  • Published on Mar 21, 2019
  • • Give yourself permission to say "no" to things. Saying yes to everything is a fast way to burn out.
    • Learn to say no in a way that keeps the door of opportunity open: No should never be a one-word answer. Say "No, but I could do this instead," or, "No, but let me connect you to someone who can help."
    • If you really want to say yes but can't manage another commitment, try qualifiers like "yes, if," or "yes, after."
    Michelle Tillis Lederman, CSP, CPA, PCC, is a speaker, trainer, and author specializing in workplace communications and relationships. She was named one of Forbes Top 25 Networking Experts. Her new book is The Connector’s Advantage: 7 Mindsets to Grow Your Influence and Impact (
    Follow Big Think here:
    MICHELLE TILLIS LEDERMAN: "No" doesn't feel so good. We feel a little uncomfortable. We feel bad saying no. "No" to something is "yes" to something else. And that's the first thing you need to think about to give yourself permission to say no. My husband actually put a sticky note on my computer for about a year with the word "no" on it. And it really did give me permission to say no and to remember that that's allowed. So that's the first thing. Then you want to think about how to say no and how to say yes. Because yes and no are never one-word answers. My favorite on the no side is "no, but..." "No, not right now. No, but I could do this instead. No, but this person might be interested." I look to give a no with the opportunity for a yes later.
    For example, somebody asked me to do a pro bono talk. Happy to do those things if they meet certain criteria. This criteria was driving two hours in rush hour to talk to 30 people. It wasn't going to meet that criteria. And I said, if you can get x number of people in the room, and we can do it during this time of day, then I'm happy to do it. So "No, but here's how you can get a yes" is a great way to enable somebody to feel OK and for you to feel OK and not want to avoid that extended relationship. So when we use a "no, but," we give them an opportunity for a "yes" down the road. But we also can use the "no, but" to help them find another way to get that help. No, but there's this great resource you may want to look into. No, but I do know somebody who's working on that. Let me ask if they might be interested in connecting. No, but. I might not be able to help you. But I'm happy to give you ideas on how you can get the help you're looking for.
    Sometimes you want to and get to say yes. So we want to sometimes qualify our yes: "Yes, if..." Yes, if you can get this done for me. Or yes, if you can get this many people in the room. Or yes, if. It could be "yes, after." Yes, I'd love to get on the phone with you after I'm done with this big project that I'm working on, or after I get back from vacation. Just giving yourself a little breathing room in when and the timing of when that follow through will actually happen. So we have "yes, if." We have "yes, after." We could have "yes, with." Yes, with your assistance. Or yes, with another party. I'm happy to work on that. Yes, with some training. So "yes, if," "yes, after," "yes, with," or even "yes, when." And when could be, when I feel that I'm really ready to do that. Yes, when I have gotten that training that we talked about. "Yes, when." So all of these things help give you a little bit of space and manage the expectations of the follow through of that yes.

Comments • 85

  • paul kersey
    paul kersey Month ago

    no, but go fuck yourself.

  • ozzyg82
    ozzyg82 Month ago

    I think a larger part of the issue is to do with being boundaries. And revolves around not knowing yourself enough; not thinking clearly about what you are about, or loving and respecting and believing in yourself and what you know, affecting self esteem. These little superficial techniques like “no, but...” don’t address the core problem.

  • speed07
    speed07 Month ago

    What about Nah.

  • Nhat Minh Nguyen
    Nhat Minh Nguyen 2 months ago

    Just watched Yesman

  • Ratay Ratay
    Ratay Ratay 2 months ago


  • ryan webb
    ryan webb 2 months ago

    I’m pretty selfish so this yes/no thingy is never an issue for me

  • TurboLP
    TurboLP 2 months ago +1

    I love that you also did a summary in the description! Thank you!

  • bemindfool
    bemindfool 2 months ago +1

    *Sometimes "No" is the kindest word.* Had a lot of difficulty saying NO when I was younger, insecure and afraid of missing out! Now it is way more easy, I am trained now ;) And my life is def. better because of it.

  • James Valaitis
    James Valaitis 2 months ago +8

    My favourite is the "No, and…"
    No, and never ask me again.
    No, and go away for ever.
    No, and you need to be a better human.

  • FlyingMonkies325
    FlyingMonkies325 2 months ago

    So basically saying No but your willing to say Yes when you've been given an informed choice as to WHY you SHOULD and it helps you determined IF you can do it, details are definitely important and lately at 28 nearing 29 i'm starting to understand the importance of informed choices even if i'm met with a lot of resistance from bad people who try to make me feel bad or gaslight me for saying No I KNOW i need the details FIRST of what you're Asking or Proposing and i think it's totally fair :) normally i'm just SO blunt about it that i can come off as very rude which NOBODY takes well so i want to try some of these, i feel like already i've started to improve for my own self dignity b4 watching this video though i've caught on now.
    Another good one is "I'm gonna have to get back to you on that one" if your unsure because people try to rope you into saying Yes immediately in any way and try to get more clever with the details to make it seem like it's an informed choice with details and i don't like that so NEVER feel insecure about feeling unsure about something either and you don't want to be a lier to people either by saying Yes to them and then finding out you really can't help or don't know.

  • Rasmus Gade
    Rasmus Gade 2 months ago


  • Christopher Surnname
    Christopher Surnname 2 months ago

    No means no

  • Alexander Ro
    Alexander Ro 2 months ago

    She complicated it...Just say no when you cant, say yes when you can...Simple.

  • GabrielSparkletits
    GabrielSparkletits 2 months ago

    No it's not.

  • European Union
    European Union 2 months ago +4

    I just reply "Aladeen" whatever the question was.
    It makes things much easier, and fun.

  • St S
    St S 2 months ago

    No bit yes with yes if no yes but if ....wait WHAT...🤯

  • Katherine G
    Katherine G 2 months ago

    I hate this. It's so wimpy. How about: No. Period. It's not my responsibility to make someone else feel better when I exercise my right to decline to do something I don't want to do. The best advice I ever got was: "You don't have to explain yourself to anyone. Ever." One of the things women do is try to make other people feel better. Let's learn we dont have to. Be polite, smile, and say "No." Period.

  • MatsueMusic
    MatsueMusic 2 months ago +1

    absolutely one of the most underrated issues in business. Great video. I will be sharing this with the entire office.

  • David Boson
    David Boson 2 months ago +4

    lol - i am always told im too negative.

    Society hates those who are not team players. Saying No is anti society.

    Yet i say no alot because im A-Social

    • Saif Addeen Al-Manaseer
      Saif Addeen Al-Manaseer 2 months ago

      Same here. People find it unpleasant to hear no, even though someone can have one of many reasons to say no. I say no when I don't want to do something, and I don't get bothered when I get a no, it's simple.

  • FishGuts92
    FishGuts92 2 months ago

    This is helpful to work situations. Thanks 🙂

  • Leolo Black
    Leolo Black 2 months ago

    No, I don´t watch this video till the end but another.

  • Flower_Tower
    Flower_Tower 2 months ago

    Has everyone degraded to the state of a Child nowadays? What a Clownworld.

  • Susannah Dean
    Susannah Dean 2 months ago +2

    'No' is a complete sentence!

  • Taurex
    Taurex 2 months ago

    HEY GUYS! Just wondering if youi all could plz chek out my chanel and subsbribe. I maek daily fortnite and minecfart videos and I need to pay for my bills so pls like all my videos and shaer with all your friends! Also I haev a petreon acc so plz donate all your moneys!! :))))))))

  • Muru Roa
    Muru Roa 2 months ago +2

    Ha! This is so American. They're equally unable to say the words "wrong" and "lie" so they say "not right" and "not true" instead.

  • George Siantis
    George Siantis 2 months ago

    Whose idea was to invite this lady?

  • mostawesomedudeever1
    mostawesomedudeever1 2 months ago +1

    No it's not. See there, I did that pretty easily.

  • m.blacktree
    m.blacktree 2 months ago +1

    I can think of many situations where "yes" or "no" are perfectly acceptable, and even expected, one-word answers.

  • Jonny B
    Jonny B 2 months ago

    Or just say no and have some backbone

    • Andy Brice
      Andy Brice 2 months ago

      That would set very clear boundaries. But you'd end up with a lot of people disliking you. It's more tactful to give a reason.

  • Dieudonne Asanji
    Dieudonne Asanji 2 months ago

    Saying no is easy: "N. O." See? No 😂 no means no!

  • Jake
    Jake 2 months ago

    Good luck getting the future guests to sit on camera and explain "Yes" or "I don't know" I'm not interested in this garbage

  • r011ing_thunder
    r011ing_thunder 2 months ago

    Just say no u

  • Mai Mohamed
    Mai Mohamed 2 months ago

    Yes love it, thank you✨👌

  • Letal
    Letal 2 months ago +1

    NO butt, no in butt, butt is exit, hard in the butt NO!

  • Laika Thunder Child
    Laika Thunder Child 2 months ago

    First thing I had to watch this morning before my work calls me in to work an extra shift 😒, Thank You.

  • FlowerGrower Smith
    FlowerGrower Smith 2 months ago +1

    I was offered overtime and I wanted to say no. I ended up saying yes, and I know my future self will thank me when the cash rolls in!

  • askadia
    askadia 2 months ago

    Never had problems in saying no, but sometimes saying yes is hard, as it requires you to act, move, and sometimes even change. While no is just no. It's not as influencing as a yes can be.

  • Resonating dissonance _


  • Practical Inspiration
    Practical Inspiration 2 months ago +4

    Give yourself permission to say no and live the life you wish to lead!

  • Mentor My Life
    Mentor My Life 2 months ago +20

    Saying no shows how ,much you love yourself. Those that do not have the ability to say no to things that they do no agree with to please others just shows a lack of self love and self fulfillment. Learn to say no to learn to truly love yourself.

    • New Void
      New Void 2 months ago

      It doesn't follow.

  • b1rdkeeper S
    b1rdkeeper S 2 months ago

    This should be taught in kindergarten and elementary school. Saying 'no' should not be a problem.

  • Mystery Yoghurt
    Mystery Yoghurt 2 months ago

    In Australia we just say maybe.
    It confuses the heck out of Americans, apparently, who think 'maybe' means 'maybe.'

    Really, we're just politely telling you to vigorously fist yourself. I mean, maybe.

    • Mystery Yoghurt
      Mystery Yoghurt 2 months ago

      +r011ing_thunder It's not really confusing in Australia. You can tell when someone's not into an idea.
      It's a cultural thing. I'm making fun of it. But it's also really useful, and probably a heavy contributing factor as to why Australians are considered so 'friendly'.

    • r011ing_thunder
      r011ing_thunder 2 months ago

      It's confusing because it's not direct. Yes or no is clear. Maybe is not a real answer more like a "I'll see" which would be better to say.

  • Rose Storm
    Rose Storm 2 months ago +10

    My therapist says that 'no' is a full sentence... I dont agree with adding the but afterwords because it softens it too much. I do like the 'yes if...' though!

  • Seminko
    Seminko 2 months ago +7

    Saying 'no, but' is just a wheasel phrase...

    • Seminko
      Seminko 2 months ago

      +Skweepa You deleted your comment, but here I go for my own's sake. Alright, if you're faced with a proposal that you don't really feel inclined to comply with but you do not actually want to shut the whole proposal down, saying 'no, but' is fine. This usually happens in business situations.
      However, the way Michelle phrased it is a completely different animal. She points to being uncomfortable when saying no. A LOT of people say 'no, but' in cases when they know they DEFINITELY don't want to do the thing they're asked to do, just to not appear too combative or challenging. This leads to the person the 'no, but' is said to to think, just like Michelle laid out, that the door is still open and such person keeps on pushing and asking. It's the trade off weaker people do when using 'no, but'. They're trading the strong possibility of this uncomfortable situation happening again in the future for the immediate feeling of relief brought on by avoiding an uncomfortable situation in the moment. They're trading the possibility of future repeated discomfort for the comfortable now.
      So in other words, no, 'no, but' without context is not necessarily a wheasel phrase, but it very well can be and often is, which I find was missing in the talk. Especially when it comes to people hitting on each other and other sex realted interactions.

    • Seminko
      Seminko 2 months ago

      +Skweepa I mean, we can talk about it more if you're in fact interested in what my reasoning is.

    • Skweepa
      Skweepa 2 months ago

      +Seminko You're smart, thanks for understanding logical fallacies. I missed "Wheasel" in your argument. Your choice reasoning and logic in that single word allow me to realize your claim is superior to some woman's 14 years of expertise. :P

    • Seminko
      Seminko 2 months ago

      +Skweepa My credentials? Well, I'm not using appeal to authority to support an argument, we can start there...

    • Skweepa
      Skweepa 2 months ago

      She's the CEO and founder of a national professional communication coaching business and is a Forbes Top 25 Networking Expert. What are your credentials?

  • Jackson Quade
    Jackson Quade 2 months ago +8

    "No means yes to something else" is a great quote. The rest of this was a little unnecessary but still, thanks for that quote :)

  • Michael DeNatale
    Michael DeNatale 2 months ago

    Absolutely not! BAM!

  • Scooby Skullx
    Scooby Skullx 2 months ago +4

    What’s all this rubbish !
    A man rules !

  • Fay A
    Fay A 2 months ago +3

    We are not retarded, we already know this.. come up with something better lol

  • E.C. Alexander
    E.C. Alexander 2 months ago

    HELL NO!!! GTFOH!!!😠

  • ShimmeringPilgrim
    ShimmeringPilgrim 2 months ago

    double damn, girl. you got some fine ass teeth

  • Uncle Willy
    Uncle Willy 2 months ago +5

    Lol this woman thinks her little tip is a grand revelation

    • Duda Drehmer
      Duda Drehmer 2 months ago

      Maybe not to you, BUT (lol) to some it might be

  • Uncle Willy
    Uncle Willy 2 months ago +31

    No butt...just vag.

  • panfriedd
    panfriedd 2 months ago

    no means yes

  • Zargabubblebath
    Zargabubblebath 2 months ago +14

    That wasn't hard :)

  • Chip Chipperson
    Chip Chipperson 2 months ago +6

    Yikes. When you're overthinking your words and what to say, you're no longer having a real conversation.

    • Hall of Canons
      Hall of Canons 2 months ago

      Chip Chipperson OR, as in the context of the video, if you’re thinking things you aren’t saying aloud, you’re not having a real conversation

  • Richard Luciano
    Richard Luciano 2 months ago

    Would it be a ridiculous thing to ask what was your pro bono talk supposed to be about?

    • Jake
      Jake 2 months ago

      how to say basic shit on camera for money

  • Rick Sanchez
    Rick Sanchez 2 months ago +12

    She is literarlly teaching sentance formation lmao

  • Your Favorite Lifecoach
    Your Favorite Lifecoach 2 months ago +6

    If you say yes to everything you’re eventually gonna dissapoint everyone...

    • Richard Luciano
      Richard Luciano 2 months ago +1

      It seems like that's saying it's better if we disappoint everyone now rather than later.

    • Herman Johnson
      Herman Johnson 2 months ago +1

      Good point

  • O'SSÉIN - Master Your Mind With Me

    *Saying no is a matter of having integrity and not going along, just to please the peers.*
    *Standing up for yourself and your values is very important.*

    • Mass Extinction
      Mass Extinction 2 months ago

      Questions Values 👌👽how and why do i have values
      . How did we Evolve
      . what makes us tick
      What our the forces that lead us to choice
      . how do we survive
      . as a species
      . Epi
      . Do you meam empathy?
      . would you say scarcity for water
      . Would cause conflict
      Is survival a choice between caring and not caring?
      . C22
      . What if you had an abundance of water
      . Would you have the will to steal more?
      . Would you ever do harm for more water?
      . scarcity is survival and integrity is to
      Survive regardless if i die for somebody or kill for someone else
      freewill 👌👽 So we try