Why can’t you?
Is it because:
- You don’t want to do it?
- Do you not know how?
- Is it against the rules/policies?
- Does it not fit your job description?
- Will you be embarrassed if you do it?
- Is it dangerous?
- Will doing that compromise the negotiation?
- Doing it will harm other people?
- You’ve done it before, and it didn’t work?
- Is there not enough time to do it?
- Are there more important things we should be doing?
- Is it too much work for too little return?
- Is it an impossible request.
- Has no one ever done this before?
- . . . .
When we are the customer, we recoil when we hear we CAN’T have it our way.
We don’t understand, and invariably our first question is:
WHY CAN”T WE?
We feel underserved (and we may well be) because we think we DESERVE this.
So . . . I’m definitely not the first person to recommend that we all remove “can’t” from our daily vocabulary and replace it with truthful and clear communication.
Tell it like it is unapologetically and redirect towards something useful and constructive.
My favorite response to an out-of-the-box request is:
“Sure! We can do this! Before we do it, let’s pause for a moment and consider what we’re getting ourselves into.”
After which we find an understanding/consensus as to whether it makes sense to do it (given the circumstances, the people, and the time and resources available).
and we take action either by doing this or choosing to something else.
In this way, there is no under-served 🙂