Saying No, Hearing No

Saying No, Hearing No:

This was a workshop presented by Calum and Cat at BiCon 2014. It’s being repeated at BiCon 2016

INTRO

Calum: We came up with the workshop while discussing consent, communication, and what gaps there were in discussing these topics at BiCon workshops.

Cat: When people discuss consent culture, they look for enthusiastic consent and that puts the emphasis on Yes – there’s very little on how to say No.

Calum: If we truly value consent, we have to be able to say no, and to make it possible, easy even, for people to say no to us.

Cat: Its important that the people we relate to are able to, and enabled to, say No – so that we know when they say Yes, its genuine.

 

FORMAT

  • Demos, Discussions and Practice
  • We’ll use the question “Would you like a cup of tea?” as the question we’ll be saying No to. We’ve chosen that to try and avoid triggering topics – please keep the discussion to that question.
  • Always feel free to leave the workshop, or to not take part in any part of it. Please look after yourself.
  • We’ll be talking about Saying No first, then move onto Hearing No

 

Saying No

DEMO 1

Calum:”Would you like a cup of tea,Cat?”

Cat: “Sorry, it’s kinda hot today. Maybe I’ll have a cold drink instead?”

 

Cat: “Would you like a cup of tea, Calum?”

Calum: “Um.. Sorry, I’ve had enough tea… and… I should go now.. Bye!”

 

What did you hear from these Nos? What do you think was being communicated? What were we thinking?

 

Again, with <<thoughts>>

 

Calum:”Would you like a cup of tea, Cat?”

Cat: <<I’d love one, but he makes awful tea.. and I can’t offer to make one in his house.. >>

Cat: “Sorry, it’s kinda hot today. Maybe I’ll have a cold drink instead?”

 

Cat: “Would you like a cup of tea, Calum?”

Calum: <<I’ve been hanging out with Cat for about an hour now, and ts been great, but I’d really like to go to a workshop now…>>

Calum: “Um.. Sorry, Ive had enough tea… and… I should go now.. Bye!”

 

What are the problems with how we said no?

Didn’t actually say no. Apologized and gave an excuse.

 

Lessons:

Don’t apologise.

It’s OK not to explain.

 

WHITEBOARD

  1. What’s hard about saying No?
  2. Different kinds of No?
  3. Different ways of saying no?

Saying No:

  1. Don’t apologise – say “Thank you” instead of “Sorry”
  2. You don’t need to explain
  3. If you do explain, your explanation should clarify what your No means, not explain your reason to placate the person asking

 

DEMO 2

Calum:”Would you like a cup of tea,Cat?”

Cat: <<I’d love one, but he makes awful tea.. and I can’t offer to make one in his house.. >>

Cat: “No, thank you.”

 

Cat: “Would you like a cup of tea, Calum?”

Calum: <<I’ve been hanging out with Cat for about an hour now, and ts been great, but I’d really like to go to a workshop now…>>

Calum: “Thank you for offering, but I’d like to go to the Saying No workshop now.”

Note: Not “and would you like to come too” – that could be placation, unless that’s what you really mean.

 

PRACTICE 1

Think of a reason why you might not want a cup of tea, it can be ordinary or improbable. Have fun with it.

In groups of two, or three, practice saying no in an effective way. Explain your reason, or don’t, its your choice.

 

Remember:

  1. Don’t apologise – say “Thank you” instead of “Sorry”
  2. You don’t need to explain
  3. If you do explain, your explanation should clarify what your No means, not explain your reason to placate the person asking

Feedback: How did it feel to say No How clear was the message?

 

Hearing No

DEMO 3

Cat: “I’ve made you a cup of tea.”

Calum: <<How do I say no to that? It’s already made, and I don’t want it>>

 

Calum: “I’m making myself a cup of tea. Would you like one too?”

Cat: <<I don’t feel like one now, but t feels easy to say no>>

 

What makes one of these questions difficult to say no to, and the other easy?

 

WHITEBOARD

  1. What makes it easy to say no?
  2. What makes it easy to hear no?

 

 

PRACTICE 2

Think of an environment in which you might offer a cup of tea. Ask the question in a way that makes it low pressure to answer No.

 

Partner says no, either well or badly.

 

Feedback to each other how the question felt, and what you understood from the reply

 

Don’t ask clarifying questions  even if you don’t understand the No (yet!)

 

DEMO 4

Asking Clarifying questions when you don’t understand the No.

 

Cat: “Would you like a cup of tea, Calum?”

Calum: <<I’ve been hanging out with Cat for about an hour now, and ts been great, but I’d really like to go to a workshop now…>>

Calum: “No, thank you. And I should go to the next workshop”

Cat: <<I thought we were having fun?>>

Cat: “Have I done something to upset you?”

 

Calum:”Would you like a cup of tea,Cat?”

Cat: <<I’d love one, but he makes awful tea.. and I can’t offer to make one in his house.. >>

Cat: “No thanks”

Calum: <<The last three times I’ve offered Cat tea she’s said no. Maybe I should check if its appropriate to offer again.>>

Calum: “You usually say no when I offer tea, should I stop asking you?”

 

Compare the two questions.. One is bad, the other is better.. Whats the difference?

 

Good clarifying questions are about understanding what the No means, not why No was said.

You are trying to find out how you should behave in future, not why did they say no.

 

 

PRACTICE 3

Think of an environment in which you might offer a cup of tea. Ask the question in a way that makes it low pressure to answer No.

 

Partner says no, any way they like

 

Ask an appropriate clarifying question.

 

Feedback to each other how the questions felt, and what you understood from the reply

 

 

Remember:

  1. Ask in a way that creates no expectation or pressure – you’re offering an option
  2. Dont invite if you are not open to the possibility of refusal
  3. Clarifying questions are about “How should I behave in future” not “why did you say no”

 

WRAPUP

Saying No:

  1. Don’t apologize – you can use “Thank You” instead of “Sorry”
  2. You don’t need to explain. A simple “No, thank you” is sufficient.
  3. If you want to explain – explain to clarify what your no means, how the other person should behave in future – not why you are saying it

Hearing No:

  1. Ask in a way that creates no expectation or pressure – offer options
  2. Don’t invite if you aren’t open to refusal (from a participant: “rehearse how you’ll respond to a no” – a great suggestion)
  3. Clarifying questions are about “How should I behave in future” not “Why did you say no”

 

 

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