• The Power of a Positive No

  • How to Say No and Still Get to Yes
  • By: William Ury
  • Narrated by: William Ury
  • Length: 7 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,016 ratings)

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The Power of a Positive No

By: William Ury
Narrated by: William Ury
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Publisher's Summary

No is perhaps the most important and certainly the most powerful word in the language. Every day we find ourselves in situations where we need to say no: to people at work, at home, and in our communities; because no is the word we must use to protect ourselves and to stand up for everything and everyone that matters to us.

But as we all know, the wrong no can also destroy what we most value by alienating and angering people. That's why saying no the right way is crucial. The secret to saying no without destroying relationships lies in the art of the Positive No, a proven technique that anyone can learn.

This indispensable audiobook will give you a simple three-step method for saying a Positive No. It will show you how to assert and defend your key interests; how to make your no firm and strong; how to resist the other side's aggression and manipulation; and how to do all this while still getting to yes. In the end, the Positive No will help you get not just to any yes but to the right yes, the one that truly serves your interests.

Based on William Ury's celebrated Harvard University course for managers and professionals, The Power of a Positive No offers concrete advice and practical examples for saying no in virtually any situation. Whether you need to say no to your customer or your coworker, your employee or your CEO, your child or your spouse, you will find in this book the secret to saying no clearly, respectfully, and effectively.

In today's world of high stress and limitless choices, the pressure to give in and say yes grows greater every day, producing overload and overwork, expanding e-mail and eroding ethics. Never has no been more needed. A Positive No has the power to profoundly transform our lives by enabling us to say yes to what counts: our own needs, values, and priorities.

©2007 William Ury (P)2007 Random House Inc.

Critic Reviews

"His reminders to consider the other person's perspective while asserting your own position create a clear, unambiguous path to win-win situations." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Power of a Positive No

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Truly applicable

Having listened to "Getting to YES," I was surprisingly pleased with how much better "The Power of a Positive No" was in comparision. This is not to say that the first book was substandard, but rather that this book focused on what so many people struggle with: Understanding how, why, and when to say "NO" in order to get to "YES."

It addresses everything from the struggle within ourselves to say the word, to delivering it with confidently, ethically, and gracefully. You never feel as if the author meanders off course, but rather ties all points back to the central theme of the higher (or deeper) purpose: reaching a consensus and a solution.

This book is well written, the narration is excellent, and the content woven with historical references (biographical and autobiographical) yet never becomes self-aggrandizing.

This book is a must for EVERYONE, regardless of societal position. It will not disappoint.

44 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Don't underestimate the title

This is an excellent book. A must read for everyone. Don't think this is just about how to say NO firmly. It is much more than that.

14 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome Book - Clear and Engaging, Expert Advice

This is one of the best personal development books I've ever read/listened to and as an executive leadership coach, I've read hundreds!

The author's presentation of the material is clear and very easy to follow. He uses many examples and stories to support his teaching points. I found the material and his performance engaging and I felt prepared to begin implementing the basics after the first chapter. The Yes-No-Yes formula was so helpful without being formulaic.

I recommend this book wholeheartedly to anyone who wants to clarify their "yeses" and "nos" and do it in a way that is constructive for everyone involved.

If you find yourself feeling guilty or afraid to say no when you want to, listen to this book! It will help you find the words and the way to say No with power and clarity while still maintaining your relationships.

This is great advice, not just about saying yes or no in negotiating individual situations but also helpful in clarifying what we say Yes and No to in Life overall. Knowing how and what to say Yes and No to, with dignity and personal power, can redefine our lives!

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The power of positive no

This as a very helpful and insightful teaching on how to say NO without malice or defeat. A win -win approach to saying no may just be the power of a win -win negotiation or answer for the nayer and the sayer.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Truly inspiring and applicable. MUST buy it HERE.

I have to admit something here. I bought this audiobook via another seller and their app because I got a free sample (which of course then turns into a subscription, which I've already cancelled.) DON'T DO THAT. It's not worth saving the 75 cents. You absolutely need the Audible app for this one (and in my opinion, with ALL books from which you may want to take notes - even safely while driving. The Audible app, especially with the "drive mode," simply cannnnnnottttt be beat. (Look for the little car icon!) So.... I just bought the book again - this time via Audible - because I want to go back and listen again and mark and dictate my notes in the many areas that had me agreeing out loud with Mr. Ury while I was driving because his comments were so spot on.

Ok, that heartfelt and sincere plug complete, I am here to tell you that this book is hands-down fantastic. I was honestly a little worried when, at the beginning for about half a minute, the author says he wrote this one after realizing he had kind of missed something in his first books. Then I took on 30 seconds of patience for a change and man, this book has more tips and ideas and reasons and explanations than I would have ever expected, and they all make sense on a personal level. He goes well beyond just saying 'no.' He also boosts your confidence in WHY it is perfectly ok and even your duty to say no at times. The foundational message is that saying no is basically saying yes instead to value or decision or goal that you hold higher. In other words, while he is quite effectively discussing how to say no (in detail, and trust me, you will find situations in the book that will make you think he's talking directly to you) thereby preventing you from wasting your time - nay, your life - on things that don't support your passions, your morals, your goals, he also affirms your own personal YES.

Just get the book. Definitely via Audible. I could have just said that in the first place, huh! ;)

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

this is a book for people who cant say no at all

If you have taken any leadership training this book is probably not too relevant for you. It helps people that are more scared to say no than cant say no. There are a few ideas for the more seasoned professional.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding

I have listened to this book twice and bought the hard copy. Such 'uncommon' common sense as the author points out. This is a must read for both every day conflict resolution to world wide peace efforts. The examples given by the author are profound, pertinent, and life changing. A book for everybody regardless of your stage in life and regardless of socioeconomic status.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Farfetched, but helpful

The story is narrated quite clear. And the core message is very helpful too, but it really feels like the book had to be filled with information that is somehow linked to saying no but actually does not belong in this book.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

average, not as good as the first book

What would have made The Power of a Positive No better?

Good reader and performance but the content is just disappointing compared to "Getting to Yes"

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

No Meat on this Bone

What did you like best about The Power of a Positive No? What did you like least?

A way to take advantage of an earlier book's catchy title I suppose. Seemed to be one person's very opinionated take on reality but not backed up with anything of substance.

Would you be willing to try another book from William Ury? Why or why not?

Doubtful. Seems like a person who takes himself too seriously. Has a condescending attitude, like he knows what is best and we're supposed to agree with what he thinks just because he went to Harvard.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Watch some comedy.

Any additional comments?

In the future I will stick to psychology titles backed by some scientific studies, not just one person's opinion on a topic.

2 people found this helpful