MANDELA’S WAY ~ Lesson No. 10


This is the tenth post in this series of 15 lessons taken from the book MANDELA'S WAY written by Richard Stengel

EXTRACT : "Nelson Mandela is not a man of maybes . He may be silent . He may be evasive . He will sometimes delay and postpone and try to avoid you . But in the end , he will not tell you what you want to hear just because you want to hear it .

He doesn't like to say it ; you can see him struggling to get it out in a courteous way . But he knows that the price of not saying no now makes it even harder to say it later . Better to disappoint someone early . And he won't sugarcoat it , or put it off on someone else . When saying no , he wants to be clear and definitive . He doesn't offer false hope or leave the door open just a crack . There are some decisions that may benefit from delay – if you decide that's the case , then fine , don't worry about it . But if you are delaying or avoiding saying no because it is unpleasant , better to do it right away and clearly . You will avoid a heap of trouble in the long run ."

It took me a long , long time to learn this lesson . The idea of appearing nasty , selfish or unco-operative made it difficult for me to say no . Until I realised that 'no' also falls into the category of "being cruel to be kind" . Certain situations require you to give a negative response . The important thing is the manner and attitude you have when doing so . What are your thoughts on this subject ?

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