year-of-yes

HR Books Review: ‘Year of Yes’

I chose “Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person” by Shonda Rhimes as the #HRBookClub selection for February because you are hurting your career by saying no.

Don’t believe me? Tim Sackett writes, “HR pros lose credibility faster than anyone else because we are known as the ‘no police.’ Employees, hiring managers, vendors, everyone comes to you expecting, knowing you will have one answer to their question and 99.9% of the time that answer is no.”

Do you say no to everything? Are you always the adult in the room? Is there a moment in your life when you said no but wished you could scream yes?

Shonda Rhimes was called out by her sister for saying no, and, in a moment of sheer brilliance, started saying yes.

“Yes to everything scary.
Yes to everything that takes me out of my comfort zone.
Yes to everything that feels like it might be crazy.
Yes to everything that feels out of character.
Yes to everything that feels goofy.
Yes to everything.
Everything.
Say yes.
Yes.
Speak. Speak NOW.
“Yes,” I say. “Yes”

Saying yes is brave. Saying yes is powerful. Saying yes shows you trust people in the room and you’re part of the team.

Tim Sackett taught me that people withdraw from you and stop listening when you say no. They don’t hear your serious concerns, and they won’t listen to your advice. He wrote, “You become the same old HR person they’re used to dealing with. You got lumped into the heap of other crappy HR pros they’ve known in their career. Over one little stupid two-letter word.”

So what happens when you say yes? For Shonda Rhimes, her entire world opened in new and exciting ways. She began with acknowledging the fear in her life and dealt with it. Also, she tackled her imposter syndrome. By the end of the year, Rhimes did a ton of cool things: delivered commencement speeches, appeared on talk shows, and met other famous people who became part of her professional network.

You probably won’t appear on an Oprah show if you say yes, but you’ll increase the odds of having incredible experiences in your daily life. You might also develop an appreciation for how hard you worked to get to “yes.” Your job, family, and partner aren’t there because you won the lottery. Your life is great because you made it that way.

Rhimes writes, “I am not lucky. You know what I am? I am smart, I am talented, I take advantage of the opportunities that come my way and I work really, really hard. Don’t call me lucky. Call me a badass.”

I think you’re a badass. There’s someone inside of you who is sick and tired of being the “no police.” It all starts with saying yes. Now go check out the book!


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