For those who don’t like to say no, saying maybe can be a crutch, writes Dan Rockwell forFreak. Here are some reasons to avoid maybe, and alternative responses to help you break the bad habit:
• It doesn’t help anyone. Your teammates can’t make any plans on maybe. Instead, they are left waiting for you to decide. Alternatively, use responses such as, “If I can,” or, “I’ll do my best.”
• Saying maybe paralyzes others. When you say maybe you make it awkward for others. They’re left trying to determine if you’ll be able to get the job done, or if they need to find someone else for the task.
• Just say no. If you’re leaning toward saying maybe, then it’s best to say no. If you need time to make the decision, ask if you can let them know at the end of the day.
• It causes confusion. When you continually say maybe to people you create confusion for yourself and your co-workers. By making commitments from the beginning, you avoid any miscommunication and show that you can be counted on.
— Adapted from “The Deadly Danger of Maybe,” Leadership Freak.