You can’t get everything you want, even if you ask. In virtually every relationship, you are going to meet so many roadblocks, hear so many ‘nos’ and a lot of your requests will be declined. Your part in managing relationships is to handle the declined requests in a way that it becomes a stepping-stone to a higher level, and not an energy sapper that leads to despair and frustration.

So, what should you do when your requests are not granted; when you ask, and you don’t receive; when you knock, and the door is not opened and when you seek, and you don’t find?

1. Don’t Take It Personal: Remember that you are not the one that has been rejected. A “no’ is not a rejection of you. A declined request is not a final seal on access.  It is your request that has been rejected. Your name has not changed. Your age, status, qualification, height, competence, dreams, goals and destiny have not changed. Remember that you have not lost anything by asking and not receiving. You didn’t have what you asked for before asking. Now, you don’t have it. The worst that could have happened is that you have returned to the status quo. In fact, you have not returned to the status quo. You have improved. You have learnt some lessons.

 2. Identify the Reasons for the Declined Request: Dimension what you asked for, how you asked, when you asked and whom you asked to pinpoint the reason for the negative response.

 3. Identify Lessons: List the lessons from asking and not receiving. Note the positive and negative lessons.

 4. Understand What No Actually Means: What did the “no” mean?

  • Was it a timing issue (I asked at the wrong time)?
  • Was it a resource issue (the other person didn’t have the resources I requested)?
  • Was it a capacity issue?
  • Was it a position issue (the person didn’t have the authority to grant my request)?

 5. Identify Your B. A. D. R.

  • What is your best alternative to this declined request?
  • What other options can you explore?
  • Who else can you approach with this request?

6. How Can You Use This Encounter to Strengthen the Relationship?

How do I ensure that my relationship with the other person is not damaged, but rather strengthened by this interaction?

7. Prepare for the next request.

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