In recent months, I have found myself in conversations with business leaders about getting to “Yes.” There seems to be an increased number of people regardless of industry that are in discussions that include “No, No thank you,” “Not right now,” or “Maybe in a few weeks/months.”

Often, it is not related to a sale but rather collaborating on an idea or initiative that would be win-win for both parties. Based on the number of “no’s” we hear in a day week or month, we begin to forget a fundamental concept…

We forget to ask!

Usually, when we ask for help or share an idea we will most often hear “YES.”

It is a great connector!

Hearing yes, fuels our creativity and provides the encouragement to think outside the box. I believe, when we hear yes it actually engages the happiness hormones that creates positive energy and just plain feels good.

There are four hormones that contribute to happiness or fulfillment and they are: dopamin, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins. All of these are naturally created in the body and are engaged when we feel happy, satisfied, and appreciated. They work in tandem with one another and are obviously created when we exercise, eat healthy and I believe hear “yes.”

As a graduate from a certificate program at Harvard Law School Negotiation Institute, I remember a similar conversation with colleagues on the power of getting to yes, especially when negotiating.

After all, isn’t almost every conversation we have part of that process?

Here are a few suggestions when looking for “Yes”:

  • Find a neutral environment for the discussion
  • Be specific to the issue at hand (find the source of No)
  • Listen; really listen
  • Focus on finding a middle ground
  • Create a dialogue based on facts
  • Use positive words and grammar
  • Demonstrate positive body language
  • Eliminate emotional responses from the conversation
  • Be supportive and agreeable when you find similarities
  • Remember that everyone is looking for a resolution

I will take this list one step further and suggest that if we need a break or are ready to close the conversation that we ultimately include “yes.” Ending on a positive note will at the very least leave the door open for the future.

After all, isn’t that why we connected with someone in the first place?

We are all interested in continuing the conversation and getting to “yes.”


  • Trish Tonaj

    Author, Artist, Speaker, Founder/Host


    Trish is an, author, artist and speaker on mentorship.   She has published 2 books: Breaking Barriers 10 Entrepreneurial Women Share Their Stories and A Diary of Change 12 Personal Tools. With a love for writing she has co-authored a complimentary e-magazine W2 = Wealth and Wellbeing. She is the founder/host for the #ShareYourStories series and invites you to participate with your feature.