Can saying “No” be kind?

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Saying no is hard.

We don’t want to say it to anyone. So often in an attempt to avoid the feeling that we’ve let people down, we say maybe. In our hearts we know we will eventually say no, but we delay the inevitable.

“It is kindness to refuse immediately what you eventually intend to deny.” - Former President of Chick-Fil-A Jimmy Collins

Dee Ann Turner, Vice President of Corporate Talent, says that one of the best lessons she’s learned during her time at Chick-Fil-A is the importance of not waiting to say no.

“It’s really the power of saying no quickly, rather than driving people through experiences only to be disappointed later.”

Dee Ann was able to apply this concept to the hiring process at Chick-Fil-A. She realized that the process was too long and she didn’t want to string potential employees along only to deny them.

“It would leave a bad taste, no pun intended, in their mouth from Chick-Fil-A.”

Saying no quickly allowed Dee Ann to respect the employee prospect while upholding the reputation of Chick-Fil-A.

This principle can be applied to many aspects of life. For Dee Ann, she experienced disappointment in her life when her Dad promised to buy her a car on her 16th birthday. When that day finally rolled around her Dad didn’t deliver on his promise.

“My husband and I approached our children about when they would be 16 and we were sure to let them know that they weren’t going to get a car.”

It was kindness to tell them they would not be getting a car for their birthday, instead of raising their expectations.

Life is all about fulfilling the calling we have been given by God. Dee Ann says that when we string people along we can hinder their ability to achieve their calling.

“When we don’t tell somebody immediately that things aren’t going to work out the way they expect and we want this person to be able to follow their calling, we don’t want to take that away from them.”

Key scriptures: Hebrews 12:15

Featured songs: What Christmas Means by Danny Gokey; Good, Good Father by Chris Tomlin; Jesus, We Love You by Bethel Music

Highlight: Saying “No” the kind way

Dee Ann Turner: Chick-Fil-A

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