“NO” – The First Step Toward a Win-Win

I've asked you for a favor and you have said “no.” Sounds like the end of the conversation, right? Wrong! -- it’s just the beginning! My job is to find out what exactly you said "No” to.  What aspect of my request triggered your response? Four Reasons for a "No" In most circumstances there are only four reasons that someone says "No" to a request: 1. Timing We might be able and willing -- just not right now. 2. Amount We might be happy to help but not at that … [Read more...]

Make a Big Difference With a Little Word

I love it when people say "Yes and…" Not so much when they say "Yes but…" "Yes and…" expands possibilities.  The word and shapes a conversation in which one person expands on what the other says.  "Yes but…" limits it. A Simple Strategy for Saying "No" But when you use the word but with "No," it's a different story. "No but..." opens possibilities rather than shutting them down. Think about these sentences: No, I don't want to do that, but is there another … [Read more...]

The Open Door That is “No”

Are you afraid to ask people for things because you dread the possibility of hearing “no?” If so, why? Does hearing “no” feel like a personal rejection — as though the other person is saying that you aren't important or worthy? And if you feel that way, do you also have trouble saying “No” out of concern that you'll hurt someone's feelings? If you’ve answered “Yes” to either of these questions, think again! You’re short-changing yourself and unnecessarily limiting your … [Read more...]

Lizard Brain and the Courage to Ask for What You Want

Yesterday I asked a former colleague, who is also a friend of mine, for a favor... I was hoping he would feature my recent post on intentional conversations in his newsletter, a very popular publication with more than 10,000 subscribers. But before I could ask the favor, first I had to deal with a huge amount of inner resistance. In fact, I almost didn't ask at all. Why not? I was afraid he'd feel I was being pushy or inappropriately infringing on our … [Read more...]

Getting to “Yes” with Intentional Conversation

Imagine this... You've come home after a long, wearying day at work. You know there’s not much in the fridge, you don’t have the time or energy to stop at the store, and you really don’t much feel like cooking. Your partner’s not home yet, but you know she’s expecting a meal because it’s your night to cook. What’s the best way to get your partner to agree to go out to dinner with you instead of eating at home? Here are two approaches you might use when you speak with … [Read more...]

Winning as a Hare — And as a Tortoise

Though I have no scientific proof, I'm quite sure that our pace in life — the speed with which we function — shapes the way we see the world. For example, I'm like a hare — a speed demon. Ask me something and you’ll get the answer before you’ve finished the question. Walk down the block with me and I guarantee you’ll stretch your legs! But how much of what’s around me do I actually see? I’ve been thinking about personal pacing and observation because I recently … [Read more...]

The Power of Being Remembered Over Time

You don't have to be in the fundraising business long before you hear about the importance of — no, the critical importance of — thanking people for their gifts immediately. The gold standard for thank you notes is a 24-hour turn around. While I like to be thanked promptly, being thanked again, long after the gift has a special power. A Surprise in My Mail Two years ago, I sent some money to a Kickstarter project involving a group of kids in my South … [Read more...]

Overcoming Performance Anxiety: Reduce Stress and Be Your Best

This morning I recorded an interview with Steve Nill, my publisher at CharityChannel Press. He is making a promotional video for my newest book, Asking Styles, and he wanted to include an audio recording. He only needed about 3 minutes. No one listens to much more than that on the fly. But the shorter, the harder because it's got to be right! Right? Just before we began taping, I could feel my heart pound and my mouth get dry.  But then I remembered an old trick to … [Read more...]

See Your Inner Beauty: Sage Advice from Grandma

I was fortunate to have a wonderful mother-in-law who called every Sunday, without fail. One Sunday, when we spoke, I invited her to visit us in Pennsylvania. Her response? “Andrea, do you know what I look like? Yes? Well, I know what you look like too!” And that was the end of discussion about a visit. Mind you, our relationship was excellent and she said this with great affection. I understood that she had no need to visit, not because she didn’t love us, but … [Read more...]

The Perfect Gift

Yesterday was my birthday and gift-giving is on my mind. Are you sometimes stymied when you select a gift for someone because you don’t know what’s right? Have you ever gotten a gift that while it’s well-intended but has nothing to do with your interests or tastes? Do you know that hollow sensation of pretending to love a gift you can't stand? Are You a Great Gift Giver? I’ve always envied people who seem to be able to pick just the right gift. And I think I’ve … [Read more...]