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Time to Maybe say NO

Posted by Philip Smith on 2 July 2017

Clarity contributes to Sanity, I think.

A recent newspaper article had this headline " Female anger is on the rise as time-stretched women struggle to keep up with hectic schedules"

Even allowing for some "artistic license", we have to acknowledge some truth in this headline and it raises the question as to what can be done to alleviate this challenge. 

Having cogitated, deliberated and ruminated on this problem I suspect I might have found one positive action we can all take towards reclaiming our sanity. 

We have all learnt the politically correct flexibility in the words that are used around us, when No means Maybe and Yes means No and Maybe means Yes but not now and it all becomes very confusing.  

Somehow in all the rush, at times we respond with a Maybe, when we have not had time to consider a proper answer and that Maybe will come back to bite us in the rear when we least expect it, as the "Maybe" was probably translated as an implied YES. 

All this ambivalence with words has a cost and if we recognize the impact of a hurried "Maybe", then we have to definitely consider all those other words we use, when we are in a rush. 

Now the really big words, often used in frustration, will be discounted for now as they are always very clearly understood. However they carry a cost and at some point we still have to address the issues that caused these big words to escape our lips. Fortunately our mothers are out of earshot and the soap safely in the bathroom. 

Not for one minute am I implying that bad language is the order of the day, but there are times when they slip out despite our best endeavours. I mean even an ex Prime Minister confessed to not even remembering what happened, much less what was said, on a small outing to a strip club or was that a bar with special benefits !  

The words we use matter, they matter because if we do not create clarity by what we say, then we are contributing to the confusion that creates frustration and uncertainty or even ultimately to some bad words being used. 

We have all experienced a hurried response that three weeks later results in everybody being surprised that nobody ordered the sausages for the sausage sizzle, but three people each managed to order twice the number of bread rolls required. 

Recently I found some study notes for a communications module dating back 30 years and to my surprise, every word I read in it, is as applicable today as it was then. 

I know we have strayed off the topic a bit but there were just so many words I had to get out.. anyway as promised, I did reach some conclusion. 

If we are to reclaim some time and sanity, then we have to make better use of the time we expend and an easy way to do that is to improve our communications through clarity of words. 

Make sure that NO means NO and Yes means Yes and never use MAYBE. You will be surprised how quickly the people around you get used to you being explicit with either Yes or NO. 

Just think of it this way, they say it is not good to mix spirits and beer. In our scenario that would be the equivalent of MAYBE , so stick to Yes or No as you have a better chance of staying "sober" and avoiding the big words. 



Philip SmithAuthor:Philip Smith
About: Philip specialises in getting projects and businesses that are not performing as well as expected, back on track.
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