Ideas and insights tend to pop into your head at unexpected moments. This one came to me during my commute on the train to Amsterdam. I’m not pretending it is unique discovery, I’m sure many of you were aware of this simple fact a long time ago. But for me, it was actually new. Here it comes:
Saying ‘yes’ is more difficult than saying ‘no’.
By which I mean, if someone tells you an idea or shows you something, it actually a lot more challenging to say: “hey, you did a good job, I like it.” than it is to give criticism, disguised as ‘constructive’ feedback. Approving takes more courage than disapproving.
To say ‘yes’ means that you’re committing to something. It makes you vulnerable. To say ‘no’ (or most variations of ‘yes, but…’) means you’re protected. No matter what happens, you cannot be held responsible for anything. At the same time, since you gave your input, you’re still eligible for the taking of possible credit should that time ever come.
I like living on the edge. I like saying ‘yes.’