No with a smile

Customer service is often mentioned when it is done wrong. A certain mobile phone company, that carries a very popular phone, does not have a great reputation when it comes to customer service.

Today, I had a different kind of experience. I went into one of their stores trying to accomplish a specific thing. They could not do it. There is a time frame allowed for this specific request and we are not in it. We will be in a month, but not now. What was impressive was the attitude and effort of the representative who was attempting to help us. He listened to our request and made sure he clearly understood the full situation. He then made a legitimate attempt to fulfill the request. The answer was no, but come back in 30 days and then we will be able to. We were told, “no”, but with a great attitude and good explanation.

We cannot fulfill every request made of us. We cannot say yes to every opportunity and invite that comes along. We must say no. There is a good way to do that and a way that is not so good. The right way leaves the person feeling valued, understood, and able to accept the answer. Sure, there are times that someone will refuse to accept a no, but most of the time if we can say no with a smile and treat the other with respect and concern, it will be well received.

This holds as true in the church as anywhere. Often people come to leadership with ideas and requests. It is easy to fall prey to the fear that a no will cause people to get upset and leave. If no is the best answer, then we need to have the courage to say so, yet also have the grace to say it well with a good attitude.

Have you had a “good” experience being told no?

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