In her best-selling book, A Place of Yes: 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life, entrepreneur Bethenny Frankel credits her accomplishments as the reason she learned to be open to new challenges and to all possibilities. Instead of shutting out potential by defaulting to no, she says she comes from a place of yes.14 Positive people can come from a place of yes more often because they trust. They trust that whatever door closes, saying yes to opportunities, especially the super scary ones, keeps new doors opening. A positive cycle follows: Positivity allows you to find the yes, and finding the yes makes you feel more positive. You learn so much more about yourself when you come from a place of yes, and you come extremely close to your own flaws and limitations.
When you come from a place of yes, you give other people courage. Your staff, colleagues, network, your clients, customers, vendors, the postman—they all feel competent and capable, and that makes them want to be around you, and that is a terrific opportunity to influence and lead. Conversely, when you can’t find the yes, you just make other people miserable. Even if you can’t solve a problem, don’t make it such a negative event. It’s all in the presentation. I recently checked into a hotel at which I am a rewards member. To say I was greeted by the reservation clerk is a far stretch. Let’s just say she looked pissed off at my existence and her own.
I asked for an upgrade and she flat-out told me no. I can’t help but associate this person’s attitude with the attitude of the corporation that em- ploys her. All I remember is being denied a request and that I wasn’t helped or assisted at all. When you travel for a living, I can’t afford to be infected by negativity in the very place I am going to rest and have respite. And when your job is to make me comfortable, making me uncomfortable with your no is unforgivable.
Now, if she would’ve smiled, explained to me that I had unluckily checked in the same week as a large wedding party, made a joke and shared a laugh with me, or even gave me a breakfast voucher, I would’ve been happy to hear no. My ad- vice in business and something that I practice a lot is to find the yes, even when you are saying no. I never like to react if someone says something a little harsh to me or makes a request I think I cannot accommodate. What I have learned is you do not have to answer everyone in the moment. You can always say, “Let me get back to you on that.” It keeps things positive and holds off any reactivity that can deter your relationship.