Professor William Ury explains how to say “No” in order to “Get to Yes.” Most people find it far too easy to say yes and struggle with saying no. The key to successfully saying no is to use a positive no to guide your work projects or personal life towards a more agreeable outcome. argues that our desire to say no is not to be contradictory, but rather to stand up for a deeper yes-what we believe to be true, right, virtuous, and necessary. And that instead of making our defense a negative one, we can frame it in a positive light that is more likely to lead to a favorable outcome.
The structure of a positive no is a Yes! No. Yes? statement: The first Yes! expresses your interest; the No asserts your power; and the second Yes? furthers your relationship. For example, you might say “I, too, want prospective customers to see our company as current and approachable, but I don’t feel that a dozen social media badges at the top of the page will help us achieve that. What if we came up with a few alternative approaches and chose the most effective one together?”