Four Million people quit their jobs in April 2021. Was that the power of yes? or the power of no? or both? Some resignations were due to the large number of business start ups, others were a rebalancing of work force compensation. And others were due to the amazing power of weaving yes and no.
Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University who studies employee resignations writes “the pandemic, for a lot of people, was stressful and caused a lot of uncertainty, I think what a lot of people did was reflect on their lives…people were accustomed to work being at the center of their lives and identities — a reality that may have shifted during the pandemic.”
He continues, “in general, people want a life of contentment and a life that has purpose and I think for many people, they’ve discovered that contentment and purpose for them may lie outside of work.”
There are many reasons cited for these resignations depending on role, responsibility, wages, family responsibilities, location, tenure, passions, etc… Yet, this rebalancing of our workforce does invite us all to pause and think about how and when we say yes and how and when we say no.
The Clifton strengths finder themes can help us learn to weave our power of no with our power of yes. For example, the theme of Responsibility is motivated by values such as integrity, excellence and dedication. People with the theme of responsibility often agree to do extra work. The rest of the team knows they can count on this person to do high quality work and deliver on time. However, that same power of yes can become a weakness by not knowing how and when to say no.
William Ury, author of The Power of a Positive No writes, “in today’s world of high stress and limitless choices, the pressure to give in and say yes grows greater every day, producing overload and overwork. A “positive no” has the power to profoundly transform our lives by enabling us to say Yes to what counts–our own needs, values, and priorities.” Ury weaves the power of yes with the power of no to transform our thinking.
The Clifton strengths themes help us name and claim our positive no and positive yes. For example:
Learner- People with learner are exceptional at research. When they focus their research strategically they quickly discern the difference between critical information and extraneous content. They say yes to what is needed most for their strategy, communication, and understanding. And, they say No to what is non essential information. Learning to manage the power of no allows Learners to have powerful yes.
Command– People with command are exceptional at seeing the big picture and the moving parts. They keep their eye on the big picture and motivate people to stay on target and not wander off course. People with command say no to things that take themselves or others off the target. They say yes to collaboration and focus.
Strategic– People with this theme are goal setters and are highly skilled in pro and con analysis. They use this analysis to select the best pathway forward. They weave their cons (no) with their pros (yes) to make good decisions.
Each Clifton Strengths Finder theme has a power of no and power of yes woven together. Where is your power of yes and your power of no? How might a positive no lead you to greater purpose, contentment and abundance?