Tag Archives: William Ury

How to help everyone at once, without overwhelm (SPOILER: You can’t!) – Episode 28

Does this sound familiar: you are rushing to leave for work, helping your partner find their keys, packing lunches into backpacks, trying to put dinner in the crockpot, trying to remember your keys, then finally making it out the door. Once you arrive at work you have a meeting with your supervisor, are asked to get something from the supply room (which leads to three more people wanting something), then one of the residents asks you to talk about a big challenge they are facing.

How are you going to do all of this at once, and make everyone happy?

The short answer: you can’t.

The long answer: listen to this episode of the Caring for the Caregivers podcast and learn some important tools you can use to control the overwhelm of trying to help everyone at once.

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Episode Time Codes

00:00 Intro
01:16 Scenario
02:36 Indrani – Make a list, and learn to grow your self-empathy bucket
13:52 Discussion
17:42 Amy – using your values to say a positive “No”
28:13 Jeremie – applying these lessons to your organization (and to puppies!)
35:26 Discussion
38:05 Summary and conclusion


LINK: Kristen Neff’s Self-compassion test

LINK: Dan Siegel’s Hand Model of the Brain

BOOK: The Power of a Positive No – William Ury

Caring for the Caregivers: When Family and Work Values Collide – Episode #24

Making a decision between your family and your work is never an easy task, especially when, which is more important changes with the circumstances. How can you determine when being with your family is most important? When going to work and supporting your clients is most important? In this episode Indrani, Amy, and Jeremie discuss tools you can use to make important decisions between your family and your work.

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Episode Time Codes

00:00 Introduction
01:20 Scenario
02:12 Jeremie – Accommodate, Avoid, Attack – How we say NO without saying NO
09:25 Discussion
17:00 Indrani – Your unreasonable “perfect should list”
23:10 Discussion
25:50 Amy – Contradictions between your different roles leading to shame
30:38 Discussion
39:00 Conclusion
40:36 Outro

Caring for the Caregivers: Feeling Guilty When Saying “NO” to Your Supervisor – Episode #9

When you want to make an impact on people’s lives, it can be hard to say “no” when asked to help. But what if providing that help will end up hurting you? In this episode Indrani, Amy, and Jeremie share three tools you can use to say “no” to your supervisor, without feeling guilty, when asked to do something you don’t feel comfortable doing.

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Episode Time Codes

00:00 Introduction
01:02 Scenario
01:50 Amy – “I want to be perceived as…”
06:04 Discussion about the “I want to be perceived as…” tool.
08:06 Jeremie – Delivering a “Yes. No. Yes?”
12:41 Discussion of the “Yes. No. Yes?” tool.
16:50 Indrani – Self-care: Press pause and think about your answer.
20:50 Discussion of the “Press pause and think about your answer” tool.
28:10 Conclusion

Links and Resources mentioned in this episode

The Power of a Positive No: Save the deal. Save the relationship – and still say no

Caring for the Caregivers: Take Care of Yourself FIRST, Then Take Care of Your Family – Episode #3

As a Caregiver in a domestic violence shelter you are faced with the challenge of supporting all of your clients at work, then having to return home and take care of your family. In this episode Indrani, Amy, and Jeremie share the importance of taking care of yourself FIRST by setting boundaries and learning to tell your family a “positive NO”.

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Episode Time Codes

01:03 Introduction of this episode’s scenario
02:56 Jeremie shares a self-awareness exercise called “Going to the movies”
06:35 Amy discusses the four types of boundaries
14:10 Indrani explains how to deliver a Positive No
20:40 Discussion: you are always setting and breaking boundaries.
25:55 Discussion: supporting others in your life with setting boundaries
29:15 Summary of the three tools

Links and Resources mentioned in this episode

BOOK: Coping with infuriating, mean, critical people: The Destructive Narcissistic Pattern – Nina Brown

The Dashboards of our Lives…

mini-one-862815_640My first car was a Toyota Corolla.

It was a faded gray and it had roll up windows, an AM radio and no AC. The heat worked sometimes.

The dash board had a gas gage and a speedometer.

A manual steering wheel was the driving mechanism.

I loved that car!

It took me on my first long trip from Ohio to New Jersey after Graduate school. There was enough space to stuff my meager belongings and drive off.

These days I still drive an import, just not a Japanese import.

My car has power windows, power steering, power adjusted seats that can be heated or cooled, a lumbar support that I cannot live without as well as a head support.

Air bags in the steering and the doors.

The dash board….

Well this is a thing of beauty.

I have a speedometer AND I can see a numerical display of my speed on the windshield.

The rest of the dash looks like I am in the cockpit of an aircraft.

I know when tire pressure is low. I know when there is a snail walking behind my car because of the rear camera. The car tells me when I am too close to objects in front and in back.

There are bells and whistles… Real bells and whistles that I have NO idea what they mean. I have to remember the sound and look up the sound in the 2000 page owners manual that came with the car.

I will NEVER understand this car! I won’t even try.

This car was the play thing of very inspired engineers and when the first one rolled off the line they all applauded and pretended that all the future buyers would give a damn about all the fancy schmansy stuff.

We buy the fancy cars and very few of us really give a damn about all the bells and whistles BUT we would never go back to the old car, like that first Corolla.

Yet, in our private lives, we keep using tools that are as outdated as that Corolla.

The tools we learned as a child to manipulate our parents, we try to use on lovers and partners.

The tools we learned in High School when we were first dating are the tools we insist on using in relationships that are way beyond the immaturity of High School.

We scream and pout as if we were teenagers and expect that people will just give up their positions to keep us quiet and happy.

We expect those tools to still manipulate like they did in the past.

We refuse to better equip ourselves to fully step into adult relationships.

What do I mean?

The tools I am talking about  are readily available in e-books, book stores and libraries. It’s the billion dollar industry of the Self Help Movement; while most of us have purchased self help books, how many PRACTICE the tools inside?

It’s the practice of new tools and skills that will get us away from the “outdated dashboard” we keep going back to so that we can install a newer updated version.

Let me give you an example of what I am talking about.

I was never taught how to say No.

I was taught to be “nice” and say Yes to all that was asked of me and furthermore to be sure to do it with a smile on my face.

I did this for many years.

Almost killed myself doing this.

The few times I said NO to things, I did it with such anger and animosity that the people around me looked at me like a had two heads.

Like Medusa, if someone tried to get me to be reasonable, I felt like they were chopping off one of my heads and so two would grow in its place. The multiple headed monster was what I would become.

I stumbled upon the book The Power of a Positive No by William Ury quite a few years ago.

I read it, re-read it and read it again.

The simple tools for saying NO were right there.

But, would they actually work in real life?

How would I know unless  I practiced them?

I was at a small conference once where I told one of the participants about this book and how it changed my life and she said, “make it into a workshop. People, women need these tools and many won’t read the book. Give them a taste and then tell them to get the book and feast on it.”


I called the workshop, “Not Your Mothers Assertiveness Training.”

I did the workshop.

A few paid to attend and the rest of the seats I gave away.

It was a hit.

People loved the work.

I encouraged them to buy the book and to inhale the wisdom inside.

I heard from them from time to time that they were indeed using the principles.

A few times when they called to complain that they were being forced to do one thing or another, I simply asked, “What’s your YES!” (read the book to understand this question)
They got it and did the required work to make the decisions that would work for them.

This book is a part of the Live A Brighter Life series of classes and I encourage you to get the recordings, listen and then get all the books and really do a deep dive into the tools. www.liveabrighterlife.org

We cannot keep going back to the outdated tools, the outdated dash board and expect that our modern lives be best served.

We must find the courage to learn new tools, practice them daily and install them on the dashboard of our beautiful new lives.


Love and light,


Brighter Life Bit #17: Practicing your “Yes! No. Yes?” – develop a habit

ILF_Wtagline_Logo copyYou can listen to the original teaching at the 110 minute mark of the Class 2 recording. You can download the audio from iTunes here or from the ILF website here.

Saying NO is never easy. At the start, using a Positive NO with your “Yes! No. Yes?” is not going to be easy either. Which is why you need to practice.

We suggest that you start with the easy NOs in your life and build up your skill with delivering a Positive NO before tackling the really big NOs you know you need to be saying. Start with saying NO:

  • on the phone when someone tries to sell you something
  • to the post office when they deliver junk mail
  • to a toleration in your home or office
  • an article of clothing you no longer need
  • a small request from a family member

In each situation remember to use your “Yes! No. Yes?” statement and have your Plan B ready to put into action.

We would love to hear more about your experience with delivering a Positive NO. You can share your experience in the comments below…

Brighter Life Bit #16: Plan B: What to say if your NO is not accepted

ILF_Wtagline_Logo copyYou can listen to the original teaching at the 80 minute mark of the Class 2 recording. You can download the audio from iTunes here or from the ILF website here.

Have you delivered you first “Yes! No. Yes?” to someone? If so, congratulations! Did they accept your NO?

If they didn’t, it is time to move on to Plan B.

Plan B is a second, or back up plan that addresses your core interest and supports your original Yes! that is not dependent on the other person being involved. Plan B is not retaliation, not anger, and not a threat, Plan B is what you are going to do ANYWAYS when the other person doesn’t accept your no.

If you are clear on your Plan B, and ready to move on regardless of the other person accepting your NO, no one can stop you. Your Plan B allows you to stay true to your values and what you need without depending on the other person.

Before you make your next “Yes! No. Yes?” statement to someone in your life, make sure you have developed a Plan B that you can follow through with regardless of the response you get to your NO.

Writing down your Plan B can help make it more concrete, share your Plan B with the community in the comments below…

Brighter Life Bit #15: Discover your “Yes?” to follow up your NO

ILF_Wtagline_Logo copyYou can listen to the original teaching at the 42 minute mark of the Class 2 recording. You can download the audio from iTunes here or from the ILF website here.

For today’s lesson think of an example in your life where you have been accommodating, attacking, or avoiding instead of saying NO. Focus on this scenario, and do the following:

  1. Identify the value you want to say “Yes!” to.
  2. Ask yourself “How does saying NO serve and support this Yes! ?”
  3. With your Yes! in mind imagine saying NO to the person.
  4. Now share you second “Yes?” with this person.

This second “Yes?” is a new option you offer to the person you just said no to. It is a plan that will work regardless of what the other person decides. It needs to be an option that you can follow through on without the other person having to agree with your NO. This “Yes?” is not a compromise, it is a solution that supports you and what is important to you.

(Make sure to listen to the recording to hear Indrani’s brownie example)

Think about your own example and write down a complete “Yes! No. Yes?” statement that you can use in your situation.

Brighter Life Bit #14: Troubleshooting your YES so you can say NO

ILF_Wtagline_Logo copyYou can listen to the original teaching at the 31 minute mark of the Class 2 recording. You can download the audio from iTunes here or from the ILF website here.

Did discovering your “Yes” in the last Brighter Life Bit help you say NO?

If you still had trouble delivering your NO, we have some trouble shooting steps to help. If you have identified your “Yes” but are still struggling to say no ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I value, and want to protect, that is important enough to say NO to this request?
  • If I don’t say NO, what am I teaching/modeling to others and what effect is that having on them?
  • Why is the other person and their request more important than what I value?
  • What if I am just as important as other people?

After answering these questions revisit your “Yes” and see if it is now strong enough to support the NO you need to deliver in your situation.

Brighter Life Bit #13: The importance of saying “Yes!” before you say NO

ILF_Wtagline_Logo copyYou can listen to the original teaching at the 24 minute mark of the Class 2 recording. You can download the audio from iTunes here or from the ILF website here.

Before reading further, think of a current experience you are having RIGHT NOW where you are struggling with saying NO to someone. Got something in mind? Great! Keep reading…

William Ury tells us that the key to saying NO is to first get clear on what your “Yes” is.

To discover your “Yes” you need to identify what important value you believe in, that is being threatened by not saying NO. Once you are clear on this value you need to say “Yes” to protecting this value.

By saying “Yes” to what is truly important to you, you are creating a supportive structure to build your NO on.

Think of something you are struggling to say NO to. Now, write down the important value(s) you can use as a “Yes” to help support the NO you need to say in this situation.