How do I get YES people to say NO?

May 23, 2011

YES peopleIt is flattering to know that people on your team agree with you. It’s a shot in the arm for your self-esteem. But, like a narcotic hit, it can become addictive. The more approval you get, the more you come to expect it and feed off it. You may start to think you’re the smartest person in the room or the entire organization. And that’s when you put yourself and the organization at risk. You start minimizing counterarguments or dismissing them entirely. The logic upon which your decisions are made gets shaky. It stands on one pillar: you.

If it pays for coworkers to agree with you, they will. That’s why, no matter what your position in the organization, you must always question and test your judgment.

The further up in the organizational hierarchy you are, the more likely you are to be surrounded by YES people. If you always feel supported and affirmed by a particular coworker, you are likely looking at a YES person.

Have a frank discussion with coworkers you suspect of being YES people. Let them know that there is no place for YES people in your organization, department, or team. Make it clear that this behavior won’t be tolerated.

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