This week I found myself in two back-to-back coaching calls, where both individuals confessed to me their tendency to say "yes" too quickly and over commit themselves to too many people and too many tasks.
This is a common trait in leaders and, if you're not careful, it has a tendency to lead to burn out. I know, I've been there!
During my first conversation, the individual quickly stated, "I need help to stop saying yes so quickly."
As we know, step one is admitting you have a problem, so I was quick to congratulate her on owning up to her natural tendencies.
Now, on to step two: What are we doing to do about it?
Of course with each individual there's no hard and fast rules, but in the end, we thought through five steps that could help turn that quickly-committed "yes" to a well-thought out decision. If you're saying "this is me," this checklist will be a blessing to you as well!
Stop, Breathe and Say, "Let Me Think About It"
You can't help it. You see a need, you recognize the problem, maybe you want to help a friend, and you know that you can be the answer to their problem. Maybe it's a new job opportunity, or it looks like an easier path forward. It would be foolish not to say yes immediately, right?
Anything worth your time, energy and resources is worth some time to honestly consider what's at stake and what the greater cost will be, not only for yourself, but for the friends and family around you.
"Let me think about it" might just save your sanity!
Draw in Your Core Team
Who are your people—those individuals who know your strengths, your limits, and the season of life you are in? Pull them into the process. Give them the run down on the opportunity in front you, and allow them a voice into the decision you are making. Life is about relationships and it's important not to neglect the reality of how your decisions will affect the key relationships around you.
Listen. Reflect. Observe. Journal. Pray. Take time to get a fresh perspective and fresh insight on the decision at hand. Think about what's driving this decision, and ask yourself if you are being motivated by fear, the desire to not disappoint the people around you or an ulterior motive.
Do your best to discern what's truly going on in your heart and seek to make your decisions from a place of honesty and love, rather than fear and approval.
Evaluate Your Time, Money and Energy
Just as you took time to reflect and observe what's going on within, also be sure to take an honest inventory of what's going on in the world around you.
What are you already committed to? Financially, are you in a position to act on this new endeavor? How about physically—are you already spread too thin or could this be a place where you've been longing to spend your time?
Take Notice of Your Connections
This last check point is one of the most important because it concerns who you will actually be connected with. By saying "yes" to this particular commitment, will you be excited about your new partnership? Is this an individual or organization you are comfortable being around?
Maybe you need more time to get to know this individual or team to see if there is actually chemistry to work together. Again, who you are working with is often more important than what you are doing.
For you "yes people," these are basic questions to help you make decisions you won't regret a few months down the road. So, here's to intentional living my friends!