Book Review – The Power of a Positive NO by William Ury

untitledThe Power of a Positive No, by William Ury is a book that deals with an aspect of life that most of us face almost on a daily basis, how to say no to people confidently. It is amazing that a book covering 257 pages can be written about how to say a single word, but those 257 pages are needed. So if you struggle with saying no to certain requests then this book is for you. The book is divided into three parts titled:

  1. Prepare
  2. Deliver
  3. Follow through

Each of these sections has three chapters, adding up to nine chapters in total. The first part of the book, Prepare, will help you to prepare to say no by first saying yes to yourself. It advices us to uncover our yes by identifying why we need to say no in the first place. It also shows us how to prepare confidently to say no with conviction.

The second part, Deliver, shows us how to actually say no. It splits saying no into three parts by telling us to first express our own yes by letting people know why we are saying no, then assertively say no and finally end with a yes, which is a proposal for an alternative solution.

The final part, Follow through, advices us not to back down from our no. This is because even after saying no, we may still be pressured into saying yes instead. Some key strategies on how to stay true to our no are discussed.

This is a book I thoroughly enjoyed because it deals with an area that I personally find challenging. But also it has a lot of other lessons that can improve the way we engage with people. There are tips on how to be respectful, handling personal anger and communicating appropriately. The book also has a good number of insightful stories and quotes, and good information on handling conflict.

Therefore if saying no to certain people, situations or requests is proving challenging for you, get this book. You won’t be disappointed.

Over the next three weeks I will share three lessons learnt from the book. I am also working on a book summary and group learning session covering some key lessons from the book. The book summary will cover three to six key lessons, while the group learning session will allow you to show people how to apply some of the lessons from the book to their own lives. When we teach others something, we also learn it too.


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