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When I started “A Step A Day” I wanted to enhance the effectiveness of the series by using anecdotes and real life examples. This, to me, is the best way to illustrate principles. However, here’s a disclaimer! While the incidents are based on real life experiences the names used in them are chosen at random and are fictitious!!
Kishore looked at his watch. It was 6.30 p.m. He had promised his fiancee that he would take her out today as it was her birthday. Just as he was logging off, his boss came by. “Hi, Kishore ” he said ” I want this report analysed. We need the analysis for tomorrow’s management meeting. Finish it by 8.00 will you. There’s a good chap”.

Kishore just stood there with hundreds of thoughts racing in his mind. Amongst many others, these thoughts flashed by:

  • This is unfair. Today is one day I simply have to go on time.
  • Why should it me all the time? Can’t some one else do this for a change?
  • Sheela will be terribly disappointed. I have promised her a big treat.

Sadly, these remained thoughts and were not vocalised into words. “Thanks” said his boss and walked off, looking for one more guy to analyze one more report.

Kishore had walked into a situation that we come across almost every day. Irrespective of the intensity of our thoughts and however valid they might be, our feelings can seldom be understood by others if they are not put into words. The human brain is the most efficient computer God ever made. It has tremendous capacity to process data. Our speed of thought is around 400-500 words per minute. Our speed of speech is around 125 words per minute.

Often we are at a loss to put across what’s in our mind. We may disagree with what the other person says. Thinking about that disagreement is not enough. However much we may curse inwardly what matters is what we finally say. If we don’t say what’s in our mind and instead maintain a silence, the other person is quite likely to take the silence as agreement.

Assume our friend, Kishore does not do the work that evening. Assume he plucks up the courage to tell his boss.” But I didn’t say “yes” or agree to do the task”. His boss is likely to point out ” I do not remember your saying “No” either.”

You can, I am sure, relate to this with many more examples from your own life. It happens at work as it does at home. It is far better to be assertive and state what’s in our mind.
In business and indeed in all walks of life, not saying ” No” means ” Yes” !

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