305. The Power of Saying No with Vanessa Patrick

We’ve all been there: saying yes when we really wanted to say no. It happens all the time, from work requests and invitations, or favors for friends. Saying no can result in offense, awkwardness, and sometimes even trouble with relationships and reputations, so we often choose yes instead. However, in this episode, our guest encourages us to change our mindset. Saying no can actually empower us and should be seen as a valuable skill.

Author Vanessa Patrick graces this episode to teach us the ins and outs of effective no-saying in her book, ‘The Power of Saying No: The New Science of How to Say No That Puts You in Charge of Your Life‘. With experience, research, and sage advice to offer, Vanessa emphasizes why mastering the art of “no” is crucial and how to use our own values to make the right decisions.

Listen and Learn 

  • What fueled Vanessa to research and write about the topic of saying no? 
  • When it comes to saying no, why do we find it so difficult?
  • The main drivers of saying ‘yes’ when we want to say ‘no’.
  • The Acquaintance Trap.
  • Why saying yes can actually backfire sometimes. 
  • The Spotlight Effect and how you can better manage this when put on the spot.
  • How to use The ART of Empowered Refusal to say no that does not invite pushback.
  • How the two-by-two framework can be used to help categorize an ask and decide if it should be answered with a yes or a no.
  • Tips to manage pushback when we say ‘no’.
  • Do people in power receive fewer consequences for saying no than those from marginalized groups?


About Vanessa Patrick

Vanessa Patrick, PhD, is the Associate Dean for Research, the Bauer Professor of Marketing, and lead faculty of the Executive Women in Leadership Program at the Bauer School of Business at the University of Houston. She has a PhD in business from the University of Southern California and an MBA in marketing and a BS degree in microbiology and biochemistry from Bombay University in India. Patrick is a regular speaker at both academic and practitioner conferences. She lives in Houston, Texas.

Related Episodes 

Join the discussion

1 comment
  • Awesome Topic, thank you Dr Vanessa Patrick for so much insight, your words are definitely life changing advice.

Instagram feed @offtheclockpsych

Instagram has returned empty data. Please authorize your Instagram account in the plugin settings .


Episode 305