Confession: I Was A 'Yes' Man, But Not The Kind You Think...

I admit it. For a long time, I was a 'Yes man'. I know you're familiar with the term as it describes someone who agrees and supports everything you do and say no matter how screwy what you do or say might be. 'Yes men' and 'yes women' rarely make waves and having them in your corner can grow your ego the size of a Tsuanami. They may also wreak hurricane-esque havoc throughout your life over time.

Sometimes you just don't need this reaction for your horrible ideas:


You really need people who will sometimes do this:


At the World Domination Summit speaker, Jon Acuff shared two awesome quotes that made me sit up and think:


Jon Acuff, World Domination Summit

But not all 'Yes men' and 'Yes women' just agree with your ideas all the time. Some push it even further, offering up the gracious statements, "Whatever you want! Just let me know!" or "Ask me anything! I've got you covered!". That was me as a friend and as a technology consultant. I always offered up those exclamations because I pride myself on my ability to show up for my friends and clients when they need me. Oftentimes, I was not prepared for the responsibility that comes with "Ask me anything!" or "Whatever you want!". Either that, or I knew that the follow-up requests truly would not help the particular situation like the requester thought it would.

I've since learned to plainly state what I can do. I make my offers to friends and clients specific and ensure myself that I truly am offering up something I can deliver.

I no longer simply agree with everything my customers say, even when I know what they "want" doesn't always align with what they need. Though I never shoot down my customers ideas (I rather value them), I am more open to getting down to the bottom of what it is they truly want out of the technology they have now or in the future. Then, I offer up solutions that may not exactly have been their initial idea, but suit them equally or better!

No more 'Yes man' or 'Whatever you want'! It's more like, "Yes, let's work together and come up with something you'll love!"