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Taking Back a Yes When You Should Have Said No
by Glenn Shepard
May 3, 2016

Category:  Assertiveness Skills



LaSalle, IL May 4
Kingsport, TN May 10
Glenwood, CO May 17
Longmont, CO May 18
Parker, CO May 20

Click the link above for any date, or click here to email us.


Click HERE to ask Glenn a question

Dear Glenn,

     I have people complaining about an employee who exhibits vulgar behavior, but I can't report hear-say and must observe it firsthand.
      Last week I saw her with her shirt pulled up to her breasts and pants pulled down where her private parts were nearly visible, making obscene movements.
      I reported this to our plant manager. Everyone questioned about it claimed they didn’t see it and that I made it up.
      Now I'm the most hated person in the plant.
     She crossed the line of decency. What upsets me most is that the employees that complained to me didn’t back me up.
    Was I wrong for reporting this? What should I do?

- Confused in Kentucky

Dear Confused,

     You’re never wrong to do the right thing. As Andrew Jackson said, “One is a majority when you’re right”.
     Your crazy coworker will eventually get caught with her pants down – literally in this case.
    Thanks for your question.

- Glenn in Nashville, TN
Click the red Ask Glenn button to submit a question. You may remain anonymous if your prefer.

If you’re like most people, you sometimes agree to commitments that you later regret.

If you commit to something and don’t follow through, you’ve broken your word.

But nothing says you can’t "uncommit" when you realize you've over extended yourself - as long as you give the other party time to make alternative arrangements.

Imagine that you volunteered to chaperone a group of kids from your church on a trip in six months.

Then you realize you have a prior obligation and need to back out.

You feel badly about it, but it’s a commitment you can't keep.

Call and say “This is not going to work for me. I'll make it up to you in the future, but I just can’t do it on this date.”

You might be surprised when the other person says, “I appreciate you letting me know as soon as possible. I’ve got a backup I can call."

The alternate takes your spot, and all is well.

Now let’s look at a different scenario.

Imagine that she tries to lay a guilt trip on you by saying “I can’t believe you’re backing out on me. Nobody else could do it on that date, and now I’ll have to cancel the whole trip."

What that might mean is that everyone else had enough sense to say no, and you were the only sucker that said yes.

Saying “no” after the fact is not ideal, but it’s also not the end of the world.

Your guiding light in these decisions should not be the approval of others. It should be what's best for you and for the most important people in your life.

While it's not healthy to be a self-centered narcissist who's totally inconsiderate of others, it's equally unhealthy to be a martyr who lets everyone take advantage of your kindness.


To Your Success,



Glenn Shepard


P.S. This was excerpted from “Assertiveness Skills for Managers: How to be Firm w/o being a Jerk” DVD program. Click here to check it out.

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