Respectful Intentional Selection (RIS) is a way to be both inclusive and selective. It’s the Powerful way to say NO, without rejection! What you are really doing is saying YES! RIS focuses on saying YES to what you want and redirecting away from what you don’t.
To be able to practice RIS successfully you need to be very clear on what you are saying Yes to. Thus it is important to spend some time clarifying your personal values, qualities, especially in relationships, and goals. What do you want in your life? Who do you want to be? What is your current achievement focus? Clarify what you stand for, your best practices and are currently committed to doing.
This doesn’t have to be perfect nor ridged, refinement and adjustment, as you live life, is part of the process. However you do need to be comfortable with what you stand for, your best practices, and current commitments. If not you are likely to doubt yourself. When in doubted about ones roles and responsibilities others can more easily redirect your actions. In addition when in doubt you are more likely to be less respectful and say NO as a rejection.
Once you have a fairly clear idea of your values, who you want to be, and your current achievement focus, you’ll know what you are saying Yes to. As a result, what you are saying No to. With this step completed it is possible to practice RIS. This is a key step for preparation for saying No respectfully.
I will briefly describe the process of RIS using an example based on a recent interaction where someone gave feedback that they ‘didn’t like being referred to as a number to a service provider’. It resulted in them being profoundly disrespected and rejected. The rejection was not required and naturally significantly hurt the individual. Understanding RIS did help the individual process the rejection.
RIS in action:
When someone asks you to do something
The first step is to
Step 1: Listen carefully to the request
Sometimes this step is difficult, perhaps we don’t have much time or quality listen skills, our ego steps in and ensures we only hear what our ego asserts or we may be triggered and emotions make it very difficult if not impossible for us to hear what is being said. Still paying proper attention is a choice and is a skill that can be developed and is foundational to being respectful.
Step 2: Reflect and consider the request.
At this stage you will value from taking
Step 3: Clarification
‘I hear you saying you don’t like being referred to as a number. Is this correct?’
It is very important to gather accurate information. Too often inappropriate decisions are made due to misunderstandings, ego or emotionally triggered reactions.
Once you have the required information accurately.
Step 4: A decision is required. You have three choices: a) you aren’t sure if no is your desired response; b) you know you want to say yes; or c) no is the desired response. Your next step depends on your decision.
If you decide you are not sure:
Step 5a: Validation with Potential Inclusion.
Is the appropriate response.
‘Yes that sounds like a valid point. At the same time we find it much easier to refer to our clients as a number; I wonder if there is a way to integrate the two approaches? Let me consider it and get back to you. I will get back to you by the end of the week.’
Or you want to say Yes as there is a match to your yes.
Step 5b: Validation and Inclusion
‘Yes that is a valid point. I believe it will be workable for us to refer to you as a person before asking for your number. I will instigate the change immediately.’
Or you want to say No, The request doesn’t fit your Yeses.
Step 5c: Clarification with Empowerment and Redirection, based in clearly articulated guidelines.
‘While I hear and accept your view in this space we have made it a policy to use numbers when referring to our clients, it is easier for us. While I understand your preference it doesn’t work for us and we will not be changing our process. You can choose to adapt to be referred to by your number and I can support you transition to the change by providing you with your number so you can use it with ease. Or I can recommend another provider for you. Which would you prefer?’
As you can read not one of these responses provide a Rejective No. Rejection is not required in respectful interactions. Listening, validation, clear articulation of what you stand for allows for informed and empowered decision making for all in a respectful manner. This is RIS.
The keys to powerfully and effectively saying No is to practice RIS via:
- Clarifying what you stand for, your best practices, and are doing.
- Listen carefully to and reflect on the request before making your decision.
- Validate, everyone has a right to his or her perspective and desires.
- Clearly articulated guidelines of practice and
- Empowerment with Redirection and Choice.
Practicing RIS provides a powerful way to say No respectfully. In addition by developing your knowledge and skills in RIS you’ll feel more comfortable with rejection. Not because rejection is any less hurtful, this is due to our biological nature. However you’ll be able to successfully reframed ‘rejection’ to ‘Intentional Selection’ with understanding of the challenges of practicing RIS. This reduces the tendency to personalise the rejection and see it as a poor effort at Intentional Selection or a reaction out of fear.