Top positive review
The Art of Saying NO: To this book
October 16, 2017
I'm rating this a 4 because I think the intended audience for this book could find it useful. I already LOVE saying no! The problem is the violent aggression I receive from the person who received that no. This book isn't hard hitting enough to address that. It's primarily focused on people requesting your time and energy to do something, usually when nothing is really on the line. "Hey bud, can you help me move my couch?" "Hey I need a ride to the airport, can you give me a ride?" If you struggle with replying "no, I have to do my taxes" or "no, I'm actually bleeding to death and need to go seek immediate medical advice," in order to please people, you will love this book. I'm more in the category of "I think we should use this totally wrong tool for open heart surgery and experiment, and if you say no, I'm escalating to management who has this same desire to always say yes and I'm tell them that you have a fixed mindset in hopes they end your career." If you are like me, this book will do you no good. This is a book about saying soft no's to soft inquiries, when nothing is on the line. I realized this when I took the "Pop Quiz: Are you a people pleaser" and got the lowest possible score (15 / 75), which quite literally means this book is inapplicable to me.
So, lets say you are like me and bought this book! Chances are you can read it like I did in an hour and a half. It's a light, casual read that will force you to empathize with others who do have this affliction. In essence, you can still get something out of it by understanding how this advice could help those around you.
So, why am I taking a star off? This isn't really "the art" of saying no. Artistry is something that requires mastery. Here I am, well on my path as a journeyman of being a no man, looking for a master to follow to further learn the art. I need a 400 level course, not a 99. Basically, I think the title is misleading. I would equate it to naming an entry level algebra class to "the art of doing barely basic math, just good enough." It just doesn't cut it.
I bought this book to follow up on soft no's from a book called Never Split the Difference which is about tactics from an FBI (ya one of those click-bait style books) hostage negotiation. He suggests rarely using No directly, but responding with targeting questions that start with "what" or "how" that will leave it up to the other side to reason a logical no.