Employing the Power of 'Yes'
Betty Ray McCain ' 52, Wilsall .. Chair
Richard Y Stevens ' 70, Ca'l' ...... lmmed. Past Chair
Ridmd T."Stick"Williams ' 75, OIllfJ/dHiU .. Chair-Elect
D. Gayle Bomar ' 69, OIllfJ/d HiD ... FimVice Chair
Carol Payne Young ' 66, Atlanta. . . . Second Vre O!air
Ancllony Eden Rand ' 61, Fayetteville . .. .. .. Treasurer
Anne Wilmom Cates ' 53, Chapel Hill ..... Asst. Treasurer
William P.Aycock II ' 65, GreellSboro ..... .Counsel
Douglas S. Dibbert ' 70, Chapel Hill .....President
TAR HEEL NETWORK CHAIRMAN
Thomas W. Lambeth ' 57 ........ Winston-Salem
Appointed 01 Large
Wendy Gebauer Palladino ' 89 (2002) ..... Chapel Hill
Paeua Renee Newsome ' 77 (2002) . . ..... Charlotte
John Gray Blowlt Ellison ' 69 (2003) .... Greensboro
George Washington Miller Jr. ' 52 (2003) .... Durham
Carl Lafayette Mameson Jr. ' 57 (2004) ..... Hickory
Richard T. Morgan ' 74 (2004) ... Eagle Springs
Elected to Represent N C. Districts
1. Robert A. Evans ' 74 (2004) ..... Rocky Mount
2.John H. Kerr III ' 58 (2004) .... .. .Goldsboro
3. Barbara B. Richardson ' 78 (2002) .. .. Fayetteville
4. Eleanor Saunders Morris ' 55 (2003) . . Chapel Hill
5. George Watts Carr III ' 64 (2003) .... Greensboro
6. WBorden Hooks]r. ' 67 (2002) ...... MOWltAiry
7.James G Whitton ' 54 (2002) . . . .Salisbury
8. Lnther Parks Cochrane ' 70 (2004) .... .Charlotte
9. Tom David Efird ' 61 (2004) ..... Gastonia
10. Philip Gary Carson ' 63 (2003) . . .Asheville
Elected to Represe/ll Out-,!!-Slale Alumni
Charles A. Bryan ' 82 (2002) ........Baltimore, Md.
John L. Haber ' 70 (2002) ......... . ... New York
Ann Earnhardt Murry ' 72 (2002) ... Potomac, Md.
Richard Fuller Callaway ' 71 (2003) ..... Houston
Constance Lewis Crom,rrtie ' 87 (2003) .. OladottesVil.le,VA
Patticia Tinlko Sinclair ' 82 (2003) .. Los Angeles
M i n or Mickel Sha w ' 69 (2004) . . . . . . . . Greenville, SC
Anne Miller Roycroft ' 81 (2004) ...... Pensacola, Fla.
Jane Robinson Whitaker ' 69 (2004) ...... Aclanta
Ex Officio, Representing the Student Body
Justin Coleman YOWlg .. President, Student Body
Kathleen R. Hunter ....... Editor, 17.. Daily Tar Heel
Benjanun M. Singer. . .President, Senior Class
Caroline Ellen Waddell .. Pres., Order of the Bell Tower
Ex Officio, Representing the Faw/ty
H. Shelton Earp 1II ' 70 (MD) .... Chapel Hill
Presidents of School Alumni Associatio<lS (Ex Officio)
Robert R. Gelblum ' 85, City & Reg'l Planning .. Raleigh
Charles S. Willis ' 70, Dentistry ........ .. .Durham
Larry G. Mabe ' 93, Education .Pittsboro
Seth Effron ' 74,]ournalism ..... Cambridge, Mass.
Charles Palmer Brown ' 64, Law ....... Albermarle
David S. Goble ' 94, InfO. & Libr. Science . . . . . .Oladotte
Thomas]. Koontz ' 66, Medicine ... Winston-Salem
Carolyn]. Graham ' 97 (PhD), Nursing ... Chapel Hill
Patti K. Rouse ' 79, Pharmacy .Morrisville
Kristin R. Siebenaler ' 92 (MPA), Pub.Admin. .. Durham
Rebecca S. King ' 74, Public Healm ..... Chapel Hill
Lyn Green ' 81, Social Work ............ Fayetteville
Aluillni on Ihe Athlelic Council (Elected 01 Large)
Lindsey Jane Linker 'SO (2002) .. Chapel Hill
Bradley Lee Daugherty ' 86 (2003) .....Atlanta
Donald F. McCaluey ' 71 (2004) ... Huntington, NY
September / O ctob e r 2001
Yes, we have no bananas" is a funny little song from yesteryear that can help you become a star performer. The song fea-
tures a fruit vendor and his customer who
wants to buy some bananas. On this particular
day, the vendor is fresh out of bananas, but that
does not stop him from putting a positive spin
on the situation and replying,"Yes, we have no
bananas."The vendor clearly understood the
power of yes.
Think about a time when you have had say
"no" to a request - for time, money,
resources, a favor. How did you phrase your
answer? Did you use words that spoke of
problems or opportunities? Did you rely on
policies and procedures to deny the request or
did you find a creative way to negotiate a
Like the vendor in the song you, too, can
find a way to be cooperative even when you
have to say no. When you are dealing with
customers, focus on serving their needs.
Determine what you can do to create a solu-
tion to their problems. Turn "I can't get you a
refund" into "Let me tell you how I can help."
Ask what alternatives might be acceptable, and
see what happens.
When giving feedback, focus on the behav-
ior rather than the person. Find the source of
the problem rather than going for the jugular.
Try turning "You are always late" into "I
noticed that you have been coming in late the
past week; is there a problem?"
"Yes, we have no bananas" puts the focus
on "I will" rather than "I can't."When you are
given an assignment that seems impossible,
determine what it will take to get the job
done. Concentrate on the one or two things
you can do that will yield the most results.
Instead of saying "I can't get that project done
by Thursday," try "I will need assistance with
... to get it done on time."
Keep your boss informed of your projects
and their outcomes. Even if the outcome is
not as favorable as expected, your boss needs
to know. Avoid unpleasant surprises. If you are
having difficulty or your project is running
late, take the initiative to report progress and
results. Focus on what has been accomplished
and what steps you are taking to complete the
To avoid conflicts with others, make
requests rather than demands. Instead of"I
want you to stop sabotaging this project," try
"Can I make a request? In the future, I would
really appreciate it if you would come directly
to me with your concerns about the project.
Would that work for you?" Ask for what you
want. You may not get it, but at least you
know where you stand.
with liNDA CONKLIN
When there has been a problem with
someone, take the initiative. Do you have all
the necessary information' Perhaps there was
a miscommunication or misinterpretation.
Ask for clarity; try restating what you
thought you heard. Don't assume the other
person is at fault or guess at a motive. Rather
than say "You are an insensitive clod," try
"What can we do to make this situation bet-
Tapping into the power ofyes requires that
you set clear boundaries. Define what you are
willing to do. For example, saying that I am
available for meetings from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. is
much more attractive than"I'm not going to
When you are going on an interview, the
power ofyes can help you get the job. Put the
emphasis on what you can do. Talk about
your transferable skills, particularly problem-
solving, adaptability, creativity and social
skills. Show how you will add value. If the
employer wants five years ofexperience and
you have only two years, talk about what you
have accomplished rather than time in the
Use the power ofyes in your self-talk, too.
If you make a mistake at work, don't start
beating yourself up with things like,"I am
such an idiot." Reframe you message to "I
made a mistake. What did I learn from it?"
Ifyour company reorganizes and you are
asked to go from programming to selling, you
also need to focus on the power of yes. Instead
of informing your employer that you hate
cold calling and would be a miserable sales
representative, find a way to say yes. "I under-
stand that the company's new direction is ...
and I was thinking that the best way for me to
add value is..."
So, the next time you are tempted to go
straight to "no," think about those bananas and
how you can use the power ofyes to create
allies rather than adversaries.
Linda Conklin is the GAA 5 coordinator of
Alumni Career Services. For information on career-
related issues, contact her at (919) 962-3749 or by
e-mail at email@example.com. More of her
advice and other career-related information can be
found on the Career Services section of the GAA's
Mkb site: alumni.unc.edulcareer.