yes“Hi. My name is Brian and I am a ‘yesaholic.” “Hi, Brian.”

What is a ‘yesaholic?’

These are the people that cannot say ‘no’ even though they know they should and continue to say ‘yes’ to any request and task asked of them. This is something that has become rampant in the business world. The reasons that I get from my clients is that if they do not say ‘yes’ they may lose an opportunity, they may lose a client and therefore business among a long list of other reasons including; disappointing others, making others angry and portraying that they are incapable or do not care about their careers.

PodcastListenBrian (not his real name) was a ‘yesaholic’ when I first started to work with him. This was not only impacting his work life, but also his home life. My first question to Brian was: “What is the story or meaning you are assigning to the word ‘no’?” Brian came back with a list pretty much like the one above and further he was worried that the client in hearing ‘no’ gave him carte blanche on the word ‘go’ and they would now all disappear to the competition. He also made a very interesting statement: “If you want people to like you and work with you then you have to continually please them and honor their requests, otherwise, they will not want to have any type of relationship with you.”

“Has any of those scenarios which you spoke of ever happen to you, Brian?” After a very long pause and numerous facial expressions, Brian sheepishly answered with: “No.”

“To make sure I have heard you correctly” I continued: “You have never had this happen to you, but you are conducting your business as if it already has happened and it will again in the future. What do you believe are the long-range effects on you if you continue to operate this way?” Another very long pause with even more facial expressions.

Finally, he stated: “My regular work will get further and further behind and my stress level will continue to rise. My home life will deteriorate even more than it is now as I feel so tired and stressed when I get home that the only thing that I want to do as soon as I get home is to eat dinner and go to bed. That is after barking at my wife and kids.”

“Is it not true Brian, by saying ‘yes’ all the time you are, in fact, doing the thing you fear doing for your customers?” Puzzled look followed by: “What do you mean?” “You really care about your customers and want to make sure that they are taken care of. Is that not correct?” An immediate: “Yes.” “Well then, by saying ‘yes’ all the time, could you not forget, or not have time to do all the other things that you need to do for your current clients?”

Brian was conducting himself on the belief that something that had never happened in the past, may happen now and in the future. He was also convinced that by always saying ‘yes’ he was practicing great customer service when in actuality the opposite was happening. He also believed that it was the ‘yes’ that make him likable instead of providing great customer service. Brian was a ‘yesaholic’ and needed a support group quickly.

Are you a ‘yesaholic’? If so, there does exist a support group for you. It is called The Action Suite. Brian is now a member and is now comfortable with himself saying ‘no. Needless to say, his family is also very happy the way he has changed because his stress level is almost non-existent.

Your ‘yes’ to The Action Suite gives you the opportunity to say ‘no’.


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