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How One Simple Word Can Transform Your Life


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

No. Nope. I can't. I mean it. I'd rather not. Well, maybe. So, okay, I guess. Yeah. – How to say no and make it stick.

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Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


This book benefits those who face exhaustion from overwork, stress and overuse of the word yes - and that includes almost everyone. No matter what level of employment or management you are in, where you work or what your responsibilities are, most people have a natural propensity to say yes far too often. Jana Kemp’s book will help if you sometimes say yes when you don’t want to, or even when you are not fully capable of committing to and delivering on the promise you are making. She offers tools and advice for timely, sound decision-making. Even though the book’s self-assessment mechanisms, introspective exercises and checklists can get a bit repetitive, reinforcement is the best way to change your automatic responses. The habit of overcommitting can harm your relationships and your physical and mental health, including your stress level. Kemp finds that people want to please others so much that they overcommit in every venue of their lives. says Yes! to this book for anyone who needs to learn how to become comfortable saying no and how to do so in a direct, gracious manner that refuses the request without rejecting the person. (By the way, if you don’t need to learn this skill, you can always just say No!)


Why Learning to Say No Matters

Saying yes to requests from others all the time isn’t healthy. In fact, it signals that you don’t value yourself as much as you should; as a result, others won’t respect or value you as much as they should. Whether in the workplace, at home, with your family or friends, or when someone asks you to volunteer or contribute to a worthy cause, you can’t say yes all the time and still be a healthy, well-balanced individual. Even the most willing person still has only so many hours in a day. Saying yes too often causes stress, which affects the quality of your work, your relationships and your health. Here are just a few of the instances when you need to know how to say no like you mean it:

  • To set boundaries for your personal well being (whether a boundary of time or space or just to keep your sanity). You are entitled to physical, mental, spiritual and emotional space.
  • When you are just too tired to meet the request and do it right.
  • For your personal safety or in self-defense, or for the safety of others.
  • To make room in your life or your schedule for other opportunities you want to pursue.
  • When you feel...

About the Author

Jana Kemp is the founder and owner of Meeting & Management Essentials, a consulting firm, and a representative in the Idaho Legislature. As an expert in time management and decision-making, she is also a public speaker, trainer and meeting facilitator.

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