Can You Say “No” to “Yes” Men?

Saying No to Yes Men


Last week we talked about no. This week we’ll talk about yes.[1]


It’s always good to have at least one person in your group with a negative mindset. At least one, no more than two. [2]. The point is to get a person who doesn’t always agree with you. Having a dissenting voice allows you to see other sides of a situation. Even if they are wrong 99% of the time, the often will highlight areas where your idea may have problems.


I once heard a CEO, after a board meeting, explain the value of a negative opinion. Every idea that was proposed during the meeting, this one board member always had a complaint, pointed out a flaw, was just down right cranky.


Someone asked the CEO, “Why do you keep him around? He’s so negative”


The CEO replied, “He shows me what needs to be fixed.”


By not letting the delivery system interfere with the message, the CEO was able to use the negativity for positive results.


“Yes” men are dangerous. They can allow flawed ideas live and grow into major mistakes. Yes men don’t think, don’t adapt and certainly don’t move an organization forward. You need to get all perspectives.


Abraham Lincoln was great at this. When he was elected president, he appointed not only people who disagreed with him, but people who disliked him, people from the other parties, people who thought he was a tall lanky idiot. Why? Because he knew the people he put in those positions were the best people for the job, regardless of their attitudes and beliefs. That way, when he had a cabinet meeting, he could get the full spectrum of opinions and could make an informed decision. Decisions that were not best for him personally, not best for his presidency, not best for his party, but were best for the country.


Everyone likes to know their ideas are great, leaders want to know when their ideas are not.


Craig Price has helped thousands of people learn to find the value in their own negative thoughts and emotions. His signature keynote “Getting a Grip on Negativity” and the companion book “Half a Glass: The Realist’s Guide” gets audiences to understand how to use negativity as a tool for change and productivity.


If you are interested in having Craig present at your next conference, association meeting or corporate event please call 877-572-7890 or email today to ask about pricing and availability



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