Author: Monika Keller, PMP

Monika Keller

Dear members and friends of the PMI Switzerland Chapter,

Today I'm sharing one of my favorite questions with you.

Think about it consciously:

-> If you say "yes" to X, what are you saying "no" to?

Why is this one of my favorite questions?
Because it sums up so well what is important to you in life. 

You are allowed to decide over and over again.

Let's say you have invited friends over for dinner. You haven't seen them for ages. After all, everyone is always busy. You've already done the shopping. At 5 p.m. you want to go home, but the CEO comes to you. He urgently needs you at a meeting tomorrow and you have to present a report. You didn't know about it until now. 

Apparently, your predecessor used to do it and it was forgotten until now. 

What do you do?

1. You send an SMS to your friends. Unfortunately, something came up and you have to postpone the dinner at short notice. You put in a night shift to prepare the documents (to the best of your knowledge) and shine at the boss the next day. 

2. You ask what exactly it is about. Right now, unfortunately, you're scheduled and can't take care of the details, but it's good that you have a meeting about it tomorrow. Then you can discuss it together right away. You will then hear what is required and can ask further questions. If the report is actually to be written by you, you will have a few more days for it. But maybe it would be an idea to have it done externally, since you have enough on your plate anyway....

What would you do?

Many people may find themselves leaning towards number 2, knowing that it may be better for their long-term mental and physical health. However, in reality, they often lack the courage and confidence to say “no” to a superior, so they may just try their best at both, preparing the dinner for friends (constantly looking at their watch and begging them to leave early) and trying to produce some kind of report for the next day for the meeting during the night, feeling guilty and stressed.

What if… you exchanged with others in this or a similar situation, learned what they came up with as alternative responses and did some practice with tips from me from my coaching and PMP practice, strengthened your confidence and learned how to say “no” in a more elegant and constructive way?

You can learn this as any other skill and you will see, it will get easier with time. Register now to secure your seat at the March 2022 Master Class on how to become your own chairperson and set boundaries at work. You can find more information at PMI Master Class (

I hope to see you there.

Have a great holiday season, some days to relax and let the year pass by. 

Next time someone wants something from you at short notice, remember to think about, "If you say yes to X, what do you say no to?" and then decide consciously.

Warm regards,


P.S. If you want to know more about me, visit