The problem is in the ‘no’


Songbirds sit on the limb and sing a sweet song, happy to be cute as their whistle brightens the sunshine to a crisp glow. The eagle cruises high in the sky like royalty, a powerful presence. The chicken pecks around the pen. The chicken, well, the chicken might become dinner.

My kids always ask to do new things. “Can we…” is the start of a lot of sentences at our house and, unfortunately, “no” can become the easy answer. It’s easy because it allows you to move on quickly. It’s unfortunate because “no” also shuts down the possibility for a “yes” and that yes might be where the opportunity lies. The yes is where the learning happens. My failure as a parent lies in taking the easy route and saying “no.” If you say no enough, people begin to stop asking.

It’s the same at the office, too many negative answers stop the questions and more often than not, the opportunities lie with the questions. Questions challenge you; questions are the offense in your game. The questions knock you off center and create a closer look at what you are doing. The questions allow you to learn and grow. The questions are for the eagles. Songbirds, eagles and chickens are each a feathered fowl. But, the songbird only sings and the chicken gets eaten.