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How to Powerfully Articulate Your “Yes/No” Decisions


Last week, we discussed how to get rock-solid clear on your yes/no decisions, so that as a faculty member, you can slice through constant requests coming at you from students, colleagues, collaborators, projects, committees – and make crystal clear decisions based on your unique genius.


This week, we’ll address the next challenge

How do you articulate your decisions to others clearly and powerfully, while positioning your unique genius as an asset – even when you are saying No?

Particularly in cases where…

  • the request fits your expertise, but not your unique genius
  • you have time, but it doesn’t fuel you
  • you admire and like the person asking you, and you want them to think highly of you, even if you are declining.


If you’re like many faculty members, you might find an externally-based reason for declining such as: “time”, “other priorities” or “I just can’t take it on right now”.


External-based justifications aren’t empowering, and you can feel it:

  • something doesn’t feel right when you are saying it
  • you worry about say no, because of how it “looks”
  • you worry you say yes too often, because you don’t know how to say “No”
  • you spend too much time figuring out how to justify your decision to yourself – and to others.


And to make matters worse, the fit of requests coming at you doesn’t get better over time.


Here’s why:  using external-based reasons like “time” or “other priorities” doesn’t supply the person making requests with information that helps them identify future opportunities that suit your unique genius.


In contrast faculty members who are empowered, articulate their decisions powerfully with rock-solid clarity in three areas:

  1. Unique Genius: they are crystal clear on their unique genius
  2. Benefits: they articulate how their unique genius manifests as benefits to their projects, committees, collaborators
  3. Logic: they connect their decision logic of why a request fits – or doesn’t fit – with their unique genius


These three areas of clarity result in:

  • your colleagues, boss, students, understand what you will and won’t say no to – what fits your unique genius – because your responses powerfully and succinctly express the logic behind your decision
  • day after day, more and more accurate requests come your way, so you spend less time filtering and deciding, and more time being productive
  • the message of your unique genius survives transmission from one person to the next – people know where to find you
  • your “brand” as an academic becomes more clearer and louder – the message is consistent, powerful and concentrated


For example, a client came to us because, in her words, she “wanted to be more of herself at work, but couldn’t articulate what that was”, and “didn’t want to waste time doing things that weren’t on her purpose”.  We worked with her to discover her unique genius – what we call her Pillars of Genius™.  With this clarity, she took a swift turn and became highly expressive of her decisions – she wrote about the impact and said “After finding my Pillars of Genius™, I am unapologetic about who I am, what my purpose is, and how I show up in the world.”



You may not have a choice in each and every request that comes your way. 


But, for the times you do, I encourage you to pause and go beyond external-based justifications, such as “time”, or “other priorities” when preparing your response to the person who made the request. 


Consider articulating and expressing your decision in a way that lands for others, so that your unique genius is seen as a benefit to your department, university, and discipline – even when you are saying “no”.


Again, those three areas are:

  1. your unique genius
  2. the benefits of your unique genius
  3. your decision logic, connecting the fit of the request to your unique genius.


If you are not crystal clear on your unique genius, or how to make and express decisions that align with who you are at your core, your next step is to book a Free Breakthrough Call.

On the call, we will get to the source of what is blocking you from clarity, and discover the next action step to take to solve that issue.


The call is 100% free, and there is no catch.

But, it’s not for everyone.

The call is for faculty members who:

  • want to focus your energy and time to be aligned with what you’re good at, what your values are, and your authentic self
  • want to clearly and powerfully articulate who you uniquely are, in a way that is a contribution and benefit to your department, university, and discipline.
  • are tired of trying to “get clear” on your own, and you want a rock-solid level of clarity now
  • are action takers.  You push through and get the job done.


Schedule My Free Breakthrough Call

If you are a tenured or tenure-track professor who wants to create your career as an extension of who you are at your core, book your free breakthrough call now.

Click Here to Schedule Your Free Breakthrough Call