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“The YES / NO Conundrum”

Jun 6, 2018

In the middle of the dense forest a tiger was standing behind the bushes and spots its prey, a deer playing in the field ahead. It’s a close call for the tiger, if the tiger moves, the bushes will make sound and the deer will have an opportunity to run away, and if it doesn’t move out of the bushes he will still not be able to hunt the deer. This marks the beginning of the YES/NO conundrum in the jungle book of life for most predators.

Let me bring this to light a very interesting and important topic which most of us either don’t discuss or conveniently ignore. I am talking about the “YES” & “NO” of communication in the business world. Let me give you couple of scenarios below and each scenario will have some thought provoking questions. I want you as a reader to ask these questions to yourself and answer it.

“Scenario 1: A candidate or a job applicant goes for an interview which he prepared for days. He sits for the interview and is grilled for hours and completes the interview. The HR says we will get back to you. He has lot of hopes and a lot depends on the result of the interview.”

Questions: How often have you seen that the candidates do not receive feedback from the interviewer be it an HR or Operations? Don’t you think that each candidate deserves a Yes or a No? If any organization cannot communicate to all applicants, can’t it design a system for auto generated mails in the age of IOT and AI?

“Scenario 2: An entrepreneur starts up with all his enthusiasm that he had and whatever amount of money he could save and starts working towards his dream or goal. He starts meeting customers and investors and presents his project to the world.”

Questions: How often have we seen that many prospects do not revert back to the entrepreneur? Is the world really so busy that we cannot reply to all? In a capitalist economy which is built around the concept of free market people will pitch for business to one or other? Isn’t a NO equally important as a Yes for an entrepreneur?

These are just two scenarios that I wanted to quote but it happens every day everywhere to all of us, which made me introspect the behavior of any individual in the decision making process of saying a Yes or No. Why do most of us fear to say “NO” to someone? Let me show you with the help of a diagram I learned few years back.

See the above figure, there are 10% of the people who will take decision instantly and say a Yes. Another 10% will also take the decision instantly and say a No. But the remaining 80% of the population under the curve are the people who cannot say either a Yes or a No soon. Some people take a lot of time in days to communicate and many don’t event communicate. They want us to assume it to be a No. This many a times happens because people are not comfortable to say to no because of many reason like lack of decision making ability , social obligation, being good on face, thinking too much about people around and many more such reasons. But does it help in a business scenario to anyone? The answer is NO. Why is it that only when we become a service provider we realize the importance of communicating back with the customer. Communication as a competency I feel is one of the most important one when it comes to work success.

So the next question is how can we improve our decision making process. It’s not that we have to take a decision immediately. It is about taking a decision and communicating it back to the sender. One major aspect of communication in a professional scenario is to close the communication loop i.e. when someone asks us a question we should close the loop by replying. At times if someone is getting hundreds of mails or message then at least communicate with a blanket message that I may not be able to reply to all, and etc. This communication technique will not only improve our decision making process but it will also make us a better human being and a responsible person. There are other decision making tools and aids available at no cost in the market for better decision making which will help any individual to improve the decisions that we take.

As per the famous quote “Whatever you are is because of the decisions that you took in the past, and whatever your future will be is based on the decisions that you take today” “So Choose Wisely”

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