There are a lot of times when we’re asked to do something that may be unpleasant or unexpected. Sometimes things turn out well and sometimes they’re all messed up. When we’re asked to do something how do we know when to say yes?
Blessing or Imposition
We’ve all been in that position where someone asks us to step in and do something that we weren’t expecting. It might be simply attending an event that we weren’t ready for or it could be talking to a group that we weren’t prepared for. It might even be investing time or money into a venture or project.
If you’re like the average person sometimes you say yes and get burnt and other times you have an unexpected payoff from the interaction. You might also say no and find out you missed out on something amazing.
How do you know when to say yes?
Here are three simple ways to evaluate a request to see if it’s right for you.
Determining when to Say Yes
It’s challenging to decline friends or even just a good offer, but the goal is not to say no or yes: the goal is to do the thing that’s best for you and, in turn, is best for those affected. Choosing the right answer not only makes sure you do what’s most beneficial for you, but for those you serve.
If you want to choose the right offers, use these three simple questions to evaluate if something is right for you:
- Do I have time? If you don’t have time, you can’t do it. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Too often we try to force ourselves to do more than we are able. This doesn’t mean you can’t do it if your calendar is full, but it does mean that you will need to adjust your calendar to make room. If it’s important enough to cancel something else, then that should add some clarity on whether to do it or not. Don’t overstuff your calendar just to please a friend. When you do that no one wins.
- Is this best for my skill set? If you are asked to work on a project or job, ask yourself if this is best for your skill set. I’m not saying not to do it if it’s not something you normally do. This may be the perfect time to grow in an area. It’s one thing to try the bass if you typically play guitar, but it’s another thing to offer to play the trumpet if you’ve never played an instrument before. Focus on things where you can provide value even if it means trying out something new.
- Will the world be better off? If you will be worse off or the people who should benefit will be worse off, this probably isn’t a win. Focus on activities where you can grow and you can help the people who will be receiving the value you put forward. Don’t try to improve yourself at the expense of others or try to help others if it comes at too high a personal price. The sweet spot for any offer is something that provides you with a great deal of growth while giving its intended audience a great deal of value. Accept offers that get as close to that sweet spot as possible.
It’s not always easy knowing when to say yes, but if you focus on things that are appropriately timed, a win for your skill set, and a boost for yourself and your intended audience, you can make the most of your time and the time of those you interact with.