360° Coverage : How A New View Of 'No' Could Change Our Honor Codes

2 Updates

How A New View Of 'No' Could Change Our Honor Codes

Feb 19 2014, 12:28pm CST | by

Someone tells you no. If you accept it or go along with it, you’re considered weak – a pushover. If you don’t accept it, and fight to change it, you’re considered disrespectful – a bully. It feels...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

30 weeks ago

How A New View Of 'No' Could Change Our Honor Codes

Feb 19 2014, 12:28pm CST | by

Someone tells you no.

If you accept it or go along with it, you’re considered weak – a pushover. If you don’t accept it, and fight to change it, you’re considered disrespectful – a bully.

It feels like an impossible bind, a big squeeze of shame.

We avoid hearing no all costs to avoid these two dishonorable labels. We compromise and/or manipulate instead, rushing to agreement. We don’t see “no” as simply one decision, nor do we view it as an honorable option in and of itself, even if agreement is not reached. Instead of continuing to seek agreement after hearing or saying no, we rush to a final decision so we can get out of the shameful shadow of no. We also don’t want to shame others, so we avoid telling them no even when great harm is going to be the likely result.

Forgoing “No” Leads To Immorality

I see this as a weakness in our culture that promotes immorality. Past cultural practices that were clearly immoral, such as the enslavement of people of African descent or dueling with pistols, were rooted in taking away people’s right and responsibility to negotiate for what they wanted. See Kwame Anthony Appiah’s excellent treatment of these topics in his book, The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen.

Our shame of being told no, our desperation to avoid it, keeps us vulnerable to all kinds of exploitation. The freedom to reach agreements in our own way is essential to the dignity and sustainable progress of human beings. Failure to exercise that freedom leads to the disintegration of social cooperation at all levels. Our fear of interacting with each other in more authentic ways prevents us from better exposing the elements of our shared problems that are simply not solvable in isolation from each other. It creates a paranoid culture whose members suffer from a constantly nagging sense of danger and worry that they are not doing enough to protect themselves.

This entire situation is fortified by an honor code that putting yourself in a position where you are told no is tantamount to a sort of social death. We “go it alone” instead, or “go along,” full of resentment.

“No” Provides An Opportunity To Negotiate

But there is an alternative. We can learn to relate to being told no, or saying no, differently. We can see it instead as an opportunity to negotiate. Negotiation has not been given proper respect by highly esteemed academics to the point where they have even tried to change its definition to put it in sync with the curiously destructive honor system that has developed around being told no.

My life’s work as a negotiation coach has been dedicated to making available a knowledge base on and opportunity for learning negotiation that can elevate our encounters with no to a more evolved level of human interaction. A system of negotiation built around everyone’s right to veto, or say no, creates transactional respect, honesty, and transparency. Since only stable, ethical, and profitable agreements can provide the necessary foundation for a better society and world, we have a moral obligation to elevate negotiation to a place of honor in our collective psyche.

Without No, Dishonor Rules

The real dishonor is not in being told no, or saying no. The real dishonor is in not rising to the challenge that being told no represents one’s best effort to seek agreement. Any effort to negotiate that is respectful ought to be celebrated. We should praise each other, and especially our children, for saying no. The word “no” prevents quick and shoddy agreements that are rushed into out of a fear.

We refer to such hurried compromises as the unavoidable costs of doing business, or of being married, or of being parents, or of being in politics. We call each other “practical” and “tough” for making quick decisions that avoid the messiness and complications that follow the word “no.” Not so. These are costs of being lazy, cowardly, unimaginative, and stale.

We can do better. We can say no.

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
2

3 weeks ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company (NewCo) and slashing the ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

3 weeks ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 and MH17" hits h ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Israel joins fight against Ebola in Africa
Jerusalem, Sep 22 (IANS) Israel has joined the international effort to help combat the Ebola outbreak across West Africa.
 
 
CO2 emissions set to reach record high in 2014
London, Sep 22 (IANS) Ahead of the New York Climate Summit, researchers have revealed that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the main contributor to global warming, is set to rise again in 2014 - reaching a record high of 40 billion tonnes.
 
 
NASA spacecraft enters Mars' orbit to explore atmosphere
Washington, Sep 22 (IANS) After 10-month journey of 442 million mile, NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission entered into Mars orbit, the US space agency has said.
 
 
Israel approves rebuilding plan for communities near Gaza
Jerusalem, Sep 21 (IANS) The Israeli cabinet Sunday approved a $360 million development initiative for the communities in the country's south, near the Gaza border, who were hit hard in the recent bloody conflict between Israel and the Hamas.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Best Buy Black Friday 2014 Previewed
The actual Black Friday 2014 is 66 days away, but we found already a first look at the Best Buy Black Friday 2014 Sales event. Based on the past Best Buy Black Friday sales events, I4U News builds the case for the Best...
Read more on Black Friday Countdown
 
Two Indians elected MPs in New Zealand
Wellington, Sep 22 (IANS) Two Indian-origin leaders have made it to parliament in the recently concluded general elections in New Zealand, media reported Monday. Mahesh Bindra and Parmjeet Parmar figured in the list...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Syria condemns US anti-terror coalition
Damascus, Sep 22 (IANS) Syria has criticised the US-led coalition against the Islamic State (IS) militant group, accused it of lacking the "true will" necessary to confront terrorism in the region. "The US' move to...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Israel joins fight against Ebola in Africa
Jerusalem, Sep 22 (IANS) Israel has joined the international effort to help combat the Ebola outbreak across West Africa. Doctors from the country's leading medical institutions and other healthcare professionals are...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Asian Games: Dipika loses in semi-final, settles for bronze
Incheon, Sep 22 (IANS) India's squash star Dipika Pallikal lost her semi-final women's singles match to World No.1 Nicol David of Malaysia and settled for the bronze medal in the 17th Asian Games at the Yeorumul Squash...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
CO2 emissions set to reach record high in 2014
London, Sep 22 (IANS) Ahead of the New York Climate Summit, researchers have revealed that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the main contributor to global warming, is set to rise again in 2014 - reaching a record high...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Asian Games: China's team gold reinstated, Ayonika seventh
Incheon, Sep 22 (IANS) India's Ayonika Paul Monday finished a disappointing seventh in the women's 10-metre air rifle event while China were confirmed winners of the team gold after judges overturned an earlier...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Lena Dunham doesn't blame women for leaked photos
Lena Dunham says women should be free to take nude pictures of themselves without a risk of them being leaked online. The 'Girls' star has spoken out against hackers who have stolen alleged explicit images of...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Jordan arrests 11 IS militants
Amman, Sep 22 (IANS) Jordan has arrested 11 Islamic State (IS) militants who entered the country from Syria. The militants after their arrest Sunday, admitted that they came from Syria acting upon orders from IS...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Fiji coup leader to be sworn-in as PM
Suva, Sep 22 (IANS) Fiji coup leader in 2006, Voreqe Frank Bainimarama, will be sworn-in Monday as the prime minister of the country. Bainimarama's Fiji First party has won the 2014 general election, raking 293,714 of...
Read more on Politics Balla