About a few weeks ago I reached out to a friend who does some excellent motivational speaking to see if she would be interested in a little gig for our teams. We have an annual event in which we get all of our teams together and we were looking for someone who would leave us all with an awesome send off message. This friend is super high energy, upbeat and positive and my first thought went to her. I reached out right away via text.
“Thank you so much for thinking of me! I would love to, but I have my nose to the grindstone on a couple of projects and I need to stay in my lane. What kind of topic are you looking for? I could recommend someone…”
When I read it I just smiled. How cool of a rejection was that? To the point, thankful for the offer, and honest about having a few other projects that needed to be focused on. As I read her rejection there was no frustration, I totally got it and could understand. Thinking about it more I grew more respect for her for just saying it like it was and still offering a different way to help.
Not only did I appreciate her very well put rejection, I saved that text to remember that verbiage for those times when I need to say no. As I’ve mentioned earlier this year there are three specific work goals I am focused on achieving this year and I’ve already had to say no to several incredibly awesome and interesting opportunities. In the past I’ve struggled how to put the rejection. How do I say no without sounding too harsh, but directly enough that the person knows that the answer is no. Her response was exactly the tool to put in my belt for this year.
Fast forward to today when there was an email to get started on a project that I really enjoy and want to dive into in a bad way. I’d let it sit for an extra day just because I couldn’t quite bring myself to say no to it. This morning when I saw it in my inbox the text from my friend popped into my head and I was able to politely say no until I’m ready to take this project on… And it felt great!
Thank you so much to my friend for not only giving me one of the nicest rejections I’ve ever had, but also, and more importantly, for helping me find a better way to stay in my lane.