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Saying 'No' is a Full Sentence - Reimagination at Work

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Do you have the power to just say no?

Saying no is one of those things that comes easy to some people, and for others it’s the hardest thing ever. There are training courses to learn how to say no, and coaching programs to help people to learn this skill. Usually, this is focused around helping people to feel empowered to say no in situations where they can choose to. That’s all very well if you’re in a position where you can choose what you do. But what about people who don’t feel they have that choice? What about people who have to do the things they are told to do or risk losing their job? Do they have the power to say no?

In this episode of Reimagination at Work, Rachel and Allegra get to grips with why saying 'no' matters and the impact it can have on your life.

CW: Discussion of assult and harrasment.

Everybody and welcome to thereimagination at work podcast. You are here with myself, Rachel Pirson and mybeautiful and talented colleague, a Lego Chapman take a Ticka Bowl igrapnow o can see you, but so yeah, so areimagination at work.PODCAST is run by US and are beautiful and also talented, colligue Mo candelelWHO's, not with us today, she'st working very hard on other aspects ofwatch. The space, which is our business watche space, is on a mission toreimagine reimagine. The world of work were business, gross strategists,helping organizations to create more diverse and inclusive environments,where everybody can thrive and we're supporting underrepresented,entrepreneus to launch and build their business and we're having a bloodygreat time doing it. Last week was our pretty much our oneyear anniversary of running watch this space, so I mean I at a whole charrant cake incelebration of that, and also because I'm pregnant and I'm allowed to do sonow so yeah, it's been a pretty. I thinkeverybody will probably agree. The lastr sort of twelve thirty months hasbeen pretty crazy. We'll say no more about that, becausewe 're talk about that quite Loni'm, pretty sure everybody is pretty tiredof the whole pandemic thing, I'm really wanting it to be over and that's myselfand I'm sure Alegra included the anyway Legre. How are you doing my love? I'MALL RIGHT! Thank you yeah. I definitely I'm really starting to feel thelookdown stress now I think more say than I have for most of the rest of it, eventhough it's kind of nearly over but yeah, it feels the last couple ofmonths. I felt a lot worse and it's really dagged and I'm really sick ofthe inside of my house. Now at the go places that aren't my house, do youknow what it makes me so nervous when people say it's nearly over, I'm liketouch all the words. Do all the superstigious things,because my normally optimistic to a faulk self isjust slightly weary of saying those things now, because I think, like youyeah the last three months, four months have been some of the hardest months ofthe whole thing. Like we've gone through the depths of Windsoy, it'smiserable, you know, whereas in the summer we could go out for walks- andat least you know see, people and stuff winter's been quite a solitary experience so part from the depths of winter beinga particularly challenging time. How is everything else going in life? Allegra?Sorry, I am crazed Wi then. Yes, that was quite quite a big thing.Wasn't it abything that happened? Basically, hedid it. So I got sometbidy to talk about because otherwise you're like howthings get exactly the same. Yesterday hastin o the exactly soajusting I had ababy. I did something yeah made person that was fun a o right apart on the fant that he washere five weeks, eardy yeah, which Wa Ealy, but no he's fining St Realy welland yeah, I'm looking for to maybe actually being able to take hare placesthan and introducing hem to other humor beings. We can be other people nowoutside, so I think his grandpaers might get to mee him yeah. There must be so many stories justaround the world now of kids being born, not meeting their grandparents in theirsort of you know their family. For months and months and months and th Imean you know, that's one of the billions of things that has just been areal bitch about the last yeah twelve to thirteen months. I know quite a few people Ho've gotseveral wobpolld babies that just yeah, theyre fammy haven't seen them yeah Tyeah, so things that rt things withwatch thi space as well. Just like a little update. Things have been goingsuper well, we've been really busy. Actually, you know I say we. I've stillgot like a fulltime job, but Ma Melegroa been working with some students, interns type people to helpus, along with with some of the work that we've been doing, Wi've beendelivering campaigns for the Green Party. It's been pretty Fulon but veryexciting, it's very, very exciting and begger up to our team of interns. Thisis probably the basexciting thing. That's that's happened to me ever I'm reallite sexis Yo. I've got agroup from Brighton University who are helping us with our sation media andthey're awesome, and I lie no. Our topic for our podcast today is sayingno its a full sentence. This is something I felt feel very passionatelyabout. I think it kind of feeds into lots of different aspects of life forpeople individually. You know, obviously works with in terms of ourworking life on what we say, no to what...

...we say yes to, but also in terms ofbeing a woman, and you know no meating, no and no being enough. You know youdon't have to then go on to give an excuse or a reason. Just saying no islike fine that it feels like it's. It feels like it's. It feels like it'srude and I don't know whether we're programmed as as women pro young adesto kind of make excuses or give reasonsfor something that we want. You know if we wan't you know who want to say no. We thenhave to we feel like we have to justify it and back it up with reasons, because you know we can't put. We can'tpossibly just say just say: No, you know to something. So it's been something that's been onour minds. Talking about. You know that find of stuff. A lot of that inthe last few weeks, there's been a lot of discussion around saying, no concernviolence against women, harassment and abuse against women, and it's been apretty harrowing time. I thing for women in general, O wait. That's that's.Just forever forever has been a harrowing time for women, theyr saying no. When it comes to youknow the workplace, in your job and your life and your family, you knowit's, it should be enough to just say no, so what kind of situations allegrado you think where women want to say? No, it shouldbe a full sentence, but you know there's excuses, Ol, there's reasons,Ewe feel. We feel the need to back our back or no up with stuff yeah all othesituations, yeahyou're really right, actually that it's, because we've kindof we've been talking about it in Ta, Work Context and we've been talkingabout it in a personal context, but sually the chee things are readlylinked and when you're kind of taught to feel that you, you know, youcan't say no to work. You can't see NNATO social engagements and you knowyou can't say no to doing you know working extra hours or takingextra possibilities whatever it is. You know helping people out doingthings for people, then how can you expect people to then be able to say noascertibly in more threatening situations or difficult situations?Manyou talk about things like you know, sexual assault and issues ofconcern. You'R, you do get this kind of thing of her wilse. You know she sortof she didn't. She didn't make it clear that she didn't want to consent andactually will that the law is the one wrong way round on that completely,because you know you and there's a lot of campaigns about that, but they needto have positive concernt, and you know affirmative consempt topreceed, ratherthan just not saying no, which is Co. You know I mean whole different issue that itshouldn't that shouldn't even be the bar. Why would you want to have sex worsomebody who wasn't enthusiastically concennetic to the situation, butanyway s whol eaother, Rihe Gayzam, but yeah? It's you know it's very difficultand I think I've definitely been in situations where I've you know. I wouldn't necessarily callit assault, but I definitely didn't want to engage in that behavior, butyou feel pressured and you feel that you, U you can sort of walk away that somehow it wouldbe impolite non to let somebody Ol, though it would be a difficultconfrontation that you know it would be a kind of scarier, unpleasant, coversatconfrontation to have with somebody that you don't want to engage in it'seasier to just kind of. Let it happen, and then we make ourselves feel badabout it afterwards gain whel. I I let that happen. I will know I shouldn'thave been Puttin tmyt position in the first PLAC SA should have beenpressuring me it's Youknow that should never have happened, but yeah we'revery good. I mean it's interesting as well. Saying kind of you know women, because you know it don't know how the average man experiences it in theworkface, for example. I know they don't have feel the same pressure in ayou know, a personal context, but it's you know. It definitely issomething that I think women are particularly kind of condition to feellike we've got to be obliging and we've got to be nice, andyou know we can't kind of assert ourselves too much and also it'skind of scary, sometimes asserting yourself against a man if they'rebigger and stronger than you and they want you to see something, and you don't want to do it. It can feel alot safer just to let it happen MMM. I feel like in terms of what the workplace andsaying now with I feel like, and I would be curious to find out thisfor sure. So if there are any men listening do like, let us know whatyour experience of this is, but do you you know, do they find it hard to sayno in a work context as well, because, as we all know- or hopefully, we allare aware of NTHERE are huge mental health issuesfor men, men face, you know huge mental...

...mental health issues as well in termsof pressure and that kind of stuff you know, is saying no actually aproblem for men as well in a kind of workplace context, and then I wasthinking of a really good example, the other day of something we reallystrange in terms of this topic that came up where I think generally, wewould all assume that women are more comfortable saying now to other womenin a work context and in you know, Yumi and Mo are all very oven with eachother. If, if we haven't got time or the brain space to do something werelike. No and it's cool, but there was a it, was a time. Acouple of years ago was giving a Talkat a conference and the person who was hosting theconference wasn't a particularly like it was amore like an acquaintance really for me and I'm not I'm not. I wouldn't say I'mnot a huggy person or a touchy feeling person or anything, especially now, I'mdying for a hug I'll, just hug. Anyone right now, but generally you know, I will hung myclose friends. You know, and you know why would you hug anybody else? I guess,but I mean you talking to the rown person I' Betali at I hug, everybody Ti my default yeah, that's true! That'strue! Wev Got! I got to the end of my talk and I noted this person was comingup and sort of taking the mice off the pers and who had just done theirconference talk and giving them a Hearg, and I was like Oo. You know I'm Goinno.I don't feel comfortable with that. So I'm going to make sure my body,language kind of sort of says you know, here's the Mike hold it aulright out in front of me like create the thing and then start to walk off,and this person and this other woman kind of came right into my space andstarted to put her hands around me. Even though all of my body, languagewas saying no, even though my voice wasn't saying no, because that mighthave been a weird thing to do, but would v Shod do we need to actually normalize the physic? You knowvocalizing, you know what re, what we're trying to say with our bodies.You know I don't know, maybe that's shifting the blame to someone else ourselves. Obviously we'realways to blame as the women but yeah. This person kind of came in gave GISstarted. Hugging me in a very one way: Hug and and whispered in my ear huck meand it was like- am Resolv this cameras or and there's a video recording goingon, and I just felt really like my choice. My no had been completelyignored in favor of this person's kind of ego or how it looked, or you knowhow how she wanted the event to be, or you know the tone of the event, and I just felt it was. It was thefirst time actually I'd ever felt, properly kind of properly kind of Lo violated a littlebit. That's probably quite a strong word to use, but because it's become sonormal for for a guy to grab your bumb or you know, grab you or touch you orget in your space. It's it doesn't feel so shocking to you anymore. But whenit's like another woman, it was like, oh my know, doesn't matter here either and it was quite a unique experienceand I was wondering if you had any other kind of any experiences like thatwhere you've gone. Oh, I kind of thought that my now would be enough inthis situation. I mean Yius, like I'm chronicallyterrible at saying no generally so everything which is how I end up doingall the things really overwhelmd and exhaust till thetime IIT's funny as you were, describing that I was like Oh what'talk, Caus Tis, Nat, tough, with HEU as like. Oh, I was at that w you're talking about and I think itdefinitelyly like the e. There was a kind of performative abect that thatyou were supposed to play a log with that you obviously didn't want to andhad not been consulted. I was like my huspack was very like tapped up its over now yeah, but it will yeahthere w. There was a kind of performative thing that you know that she wanted togo through tha, you obviously Weren wern keen on, and I think it'sinteresting actually that you say it's more kind of more or feels worse.Coming from a woman because you're like I trusted you you're supposed to be onoutside, whereas you ca, you do get so used to just being my handles by men,and I remember being on Ta worknight out once and this guy that I workedwith was was very drunk, but that's not stick Gese, but he was hammered, but hewas just like constantly like grapping my backside and like putting his arm onme and just bee like being unbelievably inappropriately Suchy Peedi and myroommates. I got on with him, but I D don't want anybody grabbing my asse.Thank you. It was just like it was just all very yeah, very uncops, ere, very weird, butI kind of I was so used to it that it...

...just sort of didn't really register wit.I was just like. Oh, this is just part of the couse hes drunk. So obviouslyhe's feeling me up until our boss came over to me. I was like.Do you want me to tell him to like knock it off and given that the boss,he was telling me this- was quite like inappropriates Leeasy Goy, the bestoftimes I was like Oh wow. This railny isn't: okay, even he aks it's not! Okay.S! Obviously, and I was like Oh yeah- This is this isn I'm allowed to likenot be okay. With this, I'm allowed to get people to tell him it's a proper.But then it's by instant reaction to that was like. Oh, no, don't make afist, don't make a Demini del out of it because then it will be a problem anditwill be an issue and then I'll feel uncomfortable. So, even though I had people offeringto like on my btsay no on my behalf, I was still like. Oh No God they don'tmake it don't make don't make it awkwards. Like I say when it's been anissue, and I still just kind of I just lefht as I gonna go home, which is rubbish really, but it's yeah,it's so ingrained in us. I think not to not to make a fass an not to makethings awkward and I hate confrontation, so I hate any kind of difficultsituations of the Oiidea of then having to like explain why it was awkward orthen have. I have awkwardness ten like on Monday at the office when suddenly'slike. Oh, you made a big deal out of me, touching your bum just yeah the whole thing e Tin. Whenyou say it like that, though Lik O, Oh, you made a big deal about me. Touchingyour bumb, it's like thats, my mshould, be making a big deal about touchinglike y private areas of my body or any part of my body. You know coul be bumolder. You know it doesn't actually matter, but that is so much of the the problem. Isn't it we don't want tomake a fass. You know we don't want to be the one that creates friction or creates drama orthe difficult one. All of all of those kind of things that I think that wetake on as women. You know- and I can maybe there'ssomething in there about you know our worth. You know I cal we D, valuingour own work, bby, saying that actually it's not worth making a fussover someone touching my bum or making in inappropriate comment or ignoring myno and that's something I think we shouldall think about. I definitely need to think about that because theyre reallythat's a really important point. I think it's like you know are you? IsYour Body valuable enough for you to speak out and actually protect it, oris it actually you're happy to just sacrifice your kind of comfort andsafety just to keep things? You know sort of feeling, okay and notkind of a because the other thing is as wel like you know, go back to yourpoint about sort of feeling like you should, you should have been safe inthat situation like I thought he was a mate and I thought you know he was aColeague and a friend and somebhody that I sort of trusted and then it'slike Ohwell know. If I make a big deal out of it, then are we not friendsanymore or then is it kind of? Is it an issue, but that and rather than goingwell actually, if you're my mate, you would respect the fact that this ismaking me really uncomfortable and you would stop but yeah, it's justall. But there's there's a weird kind of thing. With that I I was in a bar oncewhen I was probably like t eighteen, nineteen twenty and I was just kind of just dancing withsome friends and this guy came up behind me and just like I didn't evenknow he was there. I came stood right behind me and just rb reach around andgrabbed my babs just like put bath hands on my chest and no like it scaredthe crap out of me, because I didn't know tea. I wasn't expecting et and Iwan just pure instincts just wirled round with my fith Mike smacktim, inthe face, and then I was quite fad of myself. I landed like quit iit blow onon its jaw, which, for a completely unexpected situation, I thought wasquite God reaction. Finus is never the ous of people, don't people, but I just I was pure gotreaction. I was just you know just a flu at him because I din't know what was happening.I didn't know who was grabbing me, so I just whirled round and Puche him in theface and he was livid like the shot and he started screaming at me, be likewhat that whats, that about Oda and like properly like going for me,because he was outraged that I had dared to him. Luckily his matesintervened and lunched and like grabbed hold of him and dragged him away, andthey were all very apologetic and very nice about it, but it really stuck withme, like the the shock in his face, that I was a not okay with this and bewas actually going to retaliate and the the sense of entitlements that Goyeswith that that you think that you have the automatic right to put your handson someone and to actually be angry when they are happy with it. I just youknow. I found that bizarre, but it's you know: I've seen it time and timeind home again that men have that some men Av this assumptionthat they have the right...

...to put their hands on of women and that,if she says no or is you know defensive of herself, then she does somethingwrong with her like she's, you know: She's the bitch she's aggressive, she's,unpleasant yeah and it wl denied something I'm entitled to Yeah TeEntitle to your body and the audacity of us like denying them. That is you know? It's. That's! That's the outrage!That's what the outrage is: Yeah Ayou touch my tits, and I do you think it plays out in theworkplace as well. I think, if you as a man, if someone says you know, want youto work late and do this, this whole report that isn't part of your job andthe Guy Gayes. No, I do't, I dont have the time for that day of capacity, thenthat's asserative and that's considered. You know good strong qualities, graceif wooden turns around and says tat as I will you'r you're being difficultwith old. You know: Do you not want to don't you want to get ahead or don'tyou want to do you know welling Yor job or whatever and ye the Amout of timesI've been aske to Yo things that are not in my job description and just expected to Bot Sufpon andwhen I've said no, I've niterally had an argument with them with one xbossbecause he kept trying to get me to doll these actual things I was likethis. Is that you're not paying me for this? This isn't in my job description.I've already got a very lengthy job, descrision and not enough hours in theday to do all of the things that I'm contractually obliged to do. I can't doall this as well, and then we got into a bit of a like scesion with that an Siwif you wantme to see this. You know that that's an exa job. You need to payme more money and it's and all of this kind of thing and he's like actuallykind of started making fun of me being like. Oh well, you know you'R you're, astroppy feminist and we're getting all this no like. If a man had said this, isn't I myobscription you'd Hve Gone Yeah now yeah. Maybe we do a talk about a PayrosOis with me. It's like! Oh well, you, Oh, if you're going to be a febelistabout it. Yeah Aswe should all be very agreeableand grateful for the extra responsibilities that can be thrustupon us. That's all. I have to say about that.wellhave other xrated things to say about that, but it's funny because Iknow that is the case, and I know we reave reference before on the podcastabout the somewhat bubble we live in in Brighton in terms of working conditions,and actually you know your freelance consultant. Apart from watte space, Iwork fulltime in an agency most most freelancees well, e'eall hadI know, you've worked in agency and client side as well. We've all hadquite a big span of experience about what kind of organizations can be likein terms of you know all of the factors of that kind of stuff. For me and mylittle Brighton bubble, I haven't actually really experienced difficulties in saying no at work withwith male bosses. It's so I've had a very unique experience, ind that all ofmy problems around being voulated and disrespected have been other women,which is really really hard pill to swallow. It's really hard to takebecause it's actually extremely hard to navigate those situations. But now I work at slite visibility and my both of my you know the people aboveme Y, my boss and O co, a mail and we have a really really strong culture ofsaying no ind nhat being okay. I was thinking about this the other day whenwe talking about the topic for the podcast, I was like God, I'm reallylucky. I know that my now is always respected at the very minimum. It'salways respected. It might from time to Ti, be questioned. So I might be youknow: Do you really not have time to doxwinezaid? Or are you really at capacity? What other kind of prioritiesI feel like? That's a responsibility of a manager to kind of help people workthrough those kind of things, but what we've got really good at on kindof saying, no tip that would love to pass on to other people ar finding itdifficult is saying no preemptively or preempting situations. So if you knowthat you're really really busy can't take on it any other responsibilitiesor you just don't- have the brain space because theres other stuff goingoutside of work and inside of work, you can give your colleagues t e heads upand a d and kind of communicate that we do that. A lot at Sime vis, where wejust say these are my priorities. This week, I can't take on any otherresponsibilities. Ofr priorities this week, untiss I's really really urgent.You come to me with a really good reason why it should be, and thenyou're kind of saying no before you even need to say no and it kind of cutsout the you know, the difficulty that you knowyou might have with with with that.

But then I think again, you knowpracticing saying no like hear yourself say no light, get kind ofcomfortable with y our your voice saying those nos, that's one of the things because I think mey you know. I don't reallyknow where it comes wrong. Probably the Patriarchy most of the bad things comefrom the patriarchy. You know like yeah. I guess for women it comes fromnot wanting to seem disagreeable or making a fast or you know like, because maybe our careers don't take the samemomentum as men's careers necessarily most of the time. Maybe we can't wecan't afford to say no as much because it means that art the opportunities forus are already quite diminished because we're women in the workplace, women andbusiness and entrepreneurs and that kind of stuff, whereas saying no,doesn't hold a man back as much. In fact, what you were saying before isyou know sometimes that actually does them some favorites, because they'reseen as assertive rather than difficult, yeah- and I think it's- I think it'sit's true for other underrepresented groups as well. I think you kno.Basically, if you're, not a white man, you're sowing gets a tied, try to progress your career and actually, ifyou, if you'rel, seem to say Nice things than people write you off and generally you have to work twice ashard and produce twice as good results to be seen as half as good. So there isthat feeling that you've got TA, constantly Bejaing, more andprovingyourself and then there's alsay something about how we see ourselves aswell, because of somebody who is a chrodic over achiever. I hate thinking that there are things Ican't do and say: Oh, I don't have time to do that or I'm not going to be ableto see. That is crashing to my spirit. I you know I do like to kind of of justbe able to do yeah. I can do that. I can see that I'll. Do that and I'vealso falling into a terrible habit and there's nobody to blame, but myselfanymore because Lik, you say I work f myself, but whenever anyone else me to sesomething I was like: Oh yeah ill got I'll, get that dome tomorrow or I'llget that don by the end of the week and I'm like stop it. Ik needs they're, not expecting it. Bythe end of the week, I have just potented to do it. If I said Yeah I'lldo that next week they would Av Gong here great Brillian, but I've justautomaticallyo'll do that tomorrow. No, no, you Wan't do it by tomorrow. Whillagree Youl when you've got CPACITI. Why do you think you do that? Do you thinkthat? Because I don't I don't, have you pegged as like a people pleaser andthat's where I would think someone who behaved like that is like I. I need to pease all the people. WhatI think and you'll be able to tell me if this is true after years of knowingeach other. What I think is, is you love doing stuff and you come up withlots of ideas and you want to execute all of the ideas you have the ideas andthen you're very much like this is how I think this idea should be executed,and I don't want to delegate this to someone else. I want to Bo this myselfand also, I just think, you're incredibly enthusiastic about the thethings that come your way either from other people when you think they're,good ideas and you want to be involved or you've had a good idea which all ofyour ideas are wonderful a billion. I mean I've seen thetrailoboard you guys have created for washthis space. There are so many ideasin ther. So do you think that's where it comes from, because I don't like Ithink, for some people ituld be I'm a people pleaser. I know if I say no, you know that will count against me forsome stupid reason. Yeah. What do you think? I think there's sum Aword of that inthere. I think I am a terrible people peeaser,but the fact that you don't think I am Bake Le Think. I fails that it I' not. Please me by not being e Occrsesui've got terribly terrible,like self eseeve issues. So I write. I want everybody to love me, so I want todo all of the things immediately so that they will think that I m I'mwonderful and good at my job. I think there's a lot of imposis in jomn inthere as well a but I need to prove myself costantly. So if I do, if Ideliver everything by tomorrow that everyone as think I'm amazing yeah, whereas actually they don't care, theydike genuinely, wouldn't care. If it arrived next week, so this part of that, I thinkdefinitely there is part of it, I'm terrible it dedegating, as you well May,and I ca I can't o go thing, so that's also rea, I'm really bad for that. Ican't sort ove if I've got an idea of my head of how things ought to be done,I'm really bad at hetting. Somebody else change it or you know. I worrythat people won't do it, how I think it should be done. So that's tafitly inissue and there's also. Definitely I get veryentesiastic about everything and I'm, like Oh Ol, show anything. I want seethat I don't want see that I don't want to se that and thenends up taking onall these things and then also I resee about it. The other day I've got areally bad kind of sort of fear of missing out. I want to be involved inall of the things an because I...

...so the kind of I a I was thinking about.You know. When do I say no, because I am terrible at it, and I was thinkingon my most recent kind of saying no and I feel like I'm on the wrongpodcast now, because it should be I'm a feminist, but I skipped an event onending vinen to gets women to do my hair, because I really wanted to cot of myHar and I didn't have any freeing and it was pased to be awolder thiss event. But I really like stressed out about it and I was SA. You were white, why aYous sdressing out about it, because I message the woman Ho's organized it waslike. I really Wang to be involved. I can't d tonight, you knowl be t thenext one she's like yeah I's Fobaly, no problem like she wasn't Bolige, but Ijust had this kind of I have to be involved and I need to be involved inthe all of the things all o the time, and I was like you don't need to bityou you can. Other people can come up with the ideas and you can get involved later. You don't have to be involved.All of the time, but I think it's yeah- that sort of fear of to be involved inthe thing yeah, it's crazy. What we go put our put ourselves through when we, because I feel veryI'm quite similar. I think I've got like filmmark that I do with aproduction company that I love working with. I've got my actual job. I've gotwatchd this space, we're doing various other things kind of outside of that,and then I have my actual life and growing an actual human inside me andall of these things. But I hate saying no, not because I'm not necessarilybecause of how someone else will feel, but I I think it's that fear of missingout that you mentioned just kind of like Oh. But if I do this, then that'sthen the next thing will happen, especially when it comes to the filmstuff. If I'm like, I've been up until one two t two o'clock in the morning,just finishing stuff off after my actual, like eight hours of work, a dayfor Theris like animation staff or like filp, editing and all of that kindof stuff, because there's a deadline that Ishould have gone, I can't do that deadline. That's staying up until twoo'clock in the morning, but I think it's maybe maybe it comes intoit. If I say no, then I might not get the next opportunity like the next. Thenext thing- and I do think that's necessarily bad.I think that's kind of being tenacious, but I think we have to kind of be wiseis knowing that that D, that's not a sustainable way of working, or you know that that sayingyes in those situations is not since not sustainable. I can't stay up untilI can't beally stay up until nine at the moment, but, like I can't stay upuntil two every night, just because i'Mi'm fearful of saying no, because Ifeel like, if I say no I'll, miss the next opportunity. t e life is just youknow. There's so much more to life than doing that, and at some point you haveto have kind of the faith that the next thing will happen, regardlessof whether you say know if your mental health or the fact you want to go tobed up. No, how like that kind of stuff. I think what bugs me is when, when whenpeople say when I say people generally when women say no thethe need to apologize for it as well,like, I think, wherewere myself and I'm sure many other women can get muchstronger in their communication and practice. It is by saying no- and youknow the whole name of the podcast know is a full sentence. You don't say sorry,no sorry! I can't because of Xiand Zeirdor. I'm really really sorry! Youknow with that kind of that kind of spirit. You know OFA pullingapologetically saying no, like you should ask yourself. Do you actuallyfeel sorry for saying? No, like you saying no for a good reason like thenthere's nothing to apologize, for you need to not do what I do, which is togo. Oh, no. I can't do that today, but I'll do it tomorrow. Instead, I end upjust getting a stuff ind shovel that way, because you're sick, because yousaid no and they're upsetso you're, like Ol ill, do I'll. Do it anothertime it's Sike! Well, that's hasn't helped me I've not effectively managedto say you know, but I want to cavy out hat of this with. I think it's all verywell kind of saying you know this is how women or you know, minoity groupsshould should say no, but I think we're very good as society at putting theblame of e people who are being held down for not you know, exhibiting the right, ehaviorand actually it kind of comes down to what you're saying about you know your culture, it's like Visi,you it has to come from above. You know youhave to be empowered to say no in a work context, because you it's no goodyouse tanding up o yourself and saying no, and then your boss, going aligtwell you're fired your Gendera, genuinely worried thatyou might face repercussions for saying, nod something then you're not going tobe able to do it. No matter how many times you practice, you know it'sPratin front of the mirror or...

...wall get to the habit. One thatll typeone is in my had is one thing that I have leant Todo, because I'm reallyabout it going I'll do it tomorrow is putting in when someone asks on thespot. If I could do something going, I'm going to check my capacity and getback to you about when I can do that. But it's you know you can practice allof those things all day long. But if you know you're not going to getsupport from your line manager, your boss or whatever it's not going to work, so there has tobe a culture where everyone's empowered to do that- and I think I mean part of it- is kindof leading from example. I think the leaders have to be on board with withdoing that, and that's one thing that I was always really keen on doing when Ilike manage people with things like believing on time, and I'm being reallyobvious about that, I think it was. I think it was Pepsi that started thewhole leave loudly saing. You know you Maye make a big deal of the Fart thatyou're walking out the door, a five o'clock, because it's the end of theday now I'm going home, you should be to computers off there's a company. Ithink in the Netherlands that had desks that at six o'clock just got raised upinto the roof because it was like that's it done the day that your diskis gone. Leave they? U thought it's brilliant, but yeah like things like that, I thinkyou have to you have to leave by example. You have to come show thatit's okay, Unleke, you were saying you. They checking with people on where they're at with capacity and make sure that theyknow that they can speak up. If there's a problem OAS an issue, but it's yeah,it's difficult, I mean what else do you think works well, where you are to kindof create that sort of culture where people feel like they can't say nightor stuff? I think there is just a I'm not entirely sure how it's beencultivated and if I ever figured it out, maybe we'll do a whole podcast aboutthat, because that would be gold to us, but we just have a very good culture ofrespecting each other. I think so. I thin we've just got a really goodunderstanding, we're all quite open to be honest, and I think that that's oneof the things that were obviously Willyng, passionate and driving atwatcer spaces, about having open conversations with everybody and beingopen, bring everybody into the same conversation and reaching a consensusin a solution and approach together, and I think that that's somethingthat's modelled at site, pisibility really well, so just plug for a littlepartner agency there. So yeah people say now to each otherall the time and it's totally fine, it's great e, say no too much yeah, yeah and and we've got kind of cultureof saying no upwards as well. So you know sometimes we've got this thing ofare saying no to men or Notube, know other people in Tha team. But actually,how do we say known to our bosses? You know the people that are in charge thedo kind of make those decisions about whether wehave a job or not. You know that kind of stuff. You know how do we say no tothem thos kind of Goto ways I wouldn't expect. I wouldn't. I would be prettysurprised if I knew someone on my team had capacity and was pushing back onsomething, and I was like. I know you have time so like what's the issue herelike, I think that you know it's about Communication Isnt, it yeah and you Ithink you have to as a lady. You have to understand that that time management thing is reallyimportant and not just expect people to just keep piling stuff on nd I mean wehad had that really sad case, not that long ago, of the the guy and analyst inthe city who killed himself because he was working a hundred plus hours a week,and it was just you know all too much, but then the the head of Goldman sacks turned roundand said you know everybody needs to just you know, dig O it deeper, go theextra Bil, even though they're working ninety five hours a week and everyoewas overlated and butiething. Those kind of people get like so swallowed up with their own visionand passion for something they it's inconceivable to them, that everybodyworking underneath them doesn't feel the same way. I love that you thinkthat is mativated by Fishian and passion rather than mymthat's theessential difference between us, O fever. Bigs, I think, is that you 'relike looking for that gid an them. Oh they're, so passionate Byu, what theydo and I'm like no they're a greedy bust, ees Yeh, the tw of US upinthere, must besome good reason and there must be some good in them. I'm not fucking SnowWhite, but he doesn't work an IUTO five out week. I tell you that an I think,but I'm gointo get. I getto get sead now by the head of Goldmyn Sax, I'msure he works very hard. Yo hit that his master salary is entirely justified. However, I think I would like do you have a word withhim about employee burd out, because there's no way that you are getting thebest out of people if theyre completely overlated and it's notsustainable they're not going to stay with you they're not going to,...

...then you know they're not going to showthat vision and passion same that you miy have thethey're just going to getfed up, Theye Goin to hate you they're not going to hate their job. The worksgoing to suffer the productivity is going to suffer. Thei results are going to suffer it'sjust it's not SOM ow, it's not same Bol Mozl and you people like then eitherget ill or they get run down or they quit. or You know in that one tragiccase that well Im sure he's not the only one yeah. You know you dos thomall together, so it isn't worth it and it's not doing you any goidgets, butitsit's really important to look at your employee ware being and look atthe worklife balance and make sure that they are, you know getting to not andis Iisn't just about ours.Either it's about feeling that autonomy, I were comfeeling, respected andfeeling like you, can pitch back on things and you can say no, when you arerespected, andwe talk quite a lot about ending these kind of reallyhierarchical structures where you've got is kind of sense of or you do thisbecause I told you to and it's more of collaborative effort. And actually youknow people are in senior positions to help and guide people with lessexperience, rather than just to tell people what that do. Yeah Yeah, I think as well. Business leaderscan as well as us as people who will say no and should say no more, knowingwe're doing that because we know our value. We know our worth. I Wen. Weknow it's possible and we're in control of our capacity and the person. Youknow best place to say what that capacity is whatever capacity means toyou and but I think, when you've got that kind of leadership in place.Actually, you know kind of understands the importance of wellness will beingnot worth not being overcapascity, overstressed, valuing people pushingback and saying no, and you show that value for their time.I think that also is it's like a it's like a circle. You know it's like asort of cyctical thing that happens, people feel more comfortable, saying no,they feel more respected. So they're happy to you know their kind of happy. You know managingtheir own time and stuff and, like you say you know, the last thing I would ever want as amanager is to have to manage people's time like I help themmanage their capacity and I talke them through their priorities, and I helpthem get to you know a conclusion, but I wouldn't just you know, kind ofdictate to them what their time, how they should be using their time andthat kind of stuff, that's not the kind of business I would ever want to workin that kind of micro management, kind ofthing. I've been micro, manage before it's bloody nightmare. It's horrible,you don't feel trusted. You don't feel like you can say. No, when your micromanaged, because how do you know as a bitcro managed person what you can sayno to like you, tit's kind of taken out of your hands when Youre micro managedto within an inch of your life, then you don't know what you should say yesto or what you should say no to because someone's doing it for you and actuallythat doesn't help anyone develop or grow as an employee or gain maturity,an their role or or anything Yor you're actually doing so much damage as amanager. If you're doing that to someone, but it I just kind of thinkyou're spending so much time managing every aspect of everything. I'm doingthat actually you're, not getting anything done yourself. You're, notfrering up any space for your own work. You might as well just be doing ityourself and yeah. Like you say, you'R kind of no the person isn't learninganything they're, not growing they're, not developing, so they're never goingto be Ale to progress and I'' going to be able to take ot any moreresponsibility, they're not going to develop within the company, and it'snot helping them to learn anything. It's totally kind productive and it'sjust a waste of everybody's time and actually bringing it all kid of back an awfulcircle. I think we need across the board. Maybe it even starts at school,more kind of Educationan and more focused on autonomy for everybody to beable to say well. This is my time this is my body. This is my life and I haveboundaries that need to be respected and I'm enticle o Tou Cam thoseboundaries, and this is how I'm going to do it and then that's should progress intothe workplace into social situations. You know when you're in a pub andsomebody feels they need to come and grab you. That's. You know we've thathas been taught not only that we have our own bougries, but that we have torespect other people's that we know and and how to do that as well and how tounderstand. You know the People's point of views and Nikit. You know like andlike a new example, read other people's body language and you nee be aware of keys and not justthink we're. Actually, I'm just going to do things this way, I'm going to gofor hug and she's gonna have to go with it.

Yeah. Imagine if I just got no right inher face yob and wit, wait that I mean that would make goodgood video for each. But it's interesting at my dauster'snursery one of the things that when we first inducted her that the thewomen who Ras it was explaining they, if anything, is happening that theydon't want, they teach them to put their hands out in front of them andand just firmly but politely say no thank you. Andshe said Sot t ease furfor them because they here ay the kids go. No, thank you. They know somethinghappening at, they need to Ittoben, but but she said you know, a big part ofthat is obviously theire. Two and three so a lot of it is, you know, shovingeach other and taking each other's crans and things, but it's useful forthem to take then, as they grow particular for the girls, sadly, thatthey, if something's happening that they don't like that they are. You know,allow to. You know, create space around themselves and assert. I am notcomfortable with this, I don't want to strop and it. But it's just you knowit's a really simple way of doing I's. Just go! No! Thank you, but the is. Itstarts with crayons and it starts with Legos and all of that kind of stuff.But, like you said, those lessons are then utterly transferablue transferableto from crayons to tids. Like you know andother things you know you can teach about consent withouthaving to talk about sex or abuse or anything that a two year oldshouldn't. Listen here here. You know you can teach about saying no beingassertive and having autonomy and all of those things are so important tolearn from an early age, because you know you and I and Wemo, and our generation grew up being told thatif a mat, if a boy pulls your hair or take something from you, they, like youor you know, they're playing. You know, there's their way of playing and wewould talk to and of mitigate the feelings and thebehavior of boys to through play and through craons and Legos and all ofthat kind of stuff. Oh God, I got tod that same any time was like you know hepulld my head, oh well, it means he likes you it's a compliment, wit, hurt and Wen. You know concern in terms ofdating and courting someone for Ou old old people, language. You know today Iwas thinking I'm not that old right. I thinkt know what generation. I was born a long time agot that, but Iwas thinking today about other phrases that have been said to boys. You knowor said to little girls abow interactions with interactions with boys and theirbehavior, and you know explaining it away by making it seemingly positivethings. Oh he likes you, but I was like thinking about it in terms of datingand teenagers and e the advice that older generations gave toour generation about you know. Oh faint heart never won fair lady. I tweetedabout it today because I was like we need to retire this phrase. I saw yourtweet and I've never wanted to like something as aggressively. It's like. Ihate that phrase that makes me feel a bit ill. It's alloh. I heard it theother day. I think it was on a TV program and some person who I, as probably in their s or something wastelling their teenage San. You know or faint heart, never won fair ladythere's so many things wrong with that phrase that we don't have time to gothrough right now, but I think you know, as you know, new parents and that kindof stuff being aware of that kind of stuff. But hundred percent agree- andmaybe it's a good good good place to end the podcast. But a hundred percentagree that concent and teaching about concert happens should happen when kidsare really little and really young, because, like I ai and do it withoutgoing into the dark stuff, you can that's. The thing is, but it isjust phrases like that, like you say, and it's so embedded in our culture, ifyou think of every single romantic movie, it's always the girl says No.When the guy keeps trying- and you know working working on it and eventually hewins herover and it's like. Maybe she just didn''t outse you like o know,maybe he should just let it go, but all of that kind of thing and stupid stuff.I was reading. My daughter Loves Julias Donaldson and I'm not going to deatJudier Donaldson, because people will come for me with pitchforks. Her bicksare lovely and my daughter adores them, but she loves silk the Dragon and Iwasreading this and so soy quick, quick Prac for all thepeople who don't have preschoolers sog is a dragon and he's learning howto be a dragon and there's lots of different things. You have to do inDragon School. So if, as WEU have to learn how to like fly, obviously o haveto earn how to breathe fire there's...

...lots of bit, and then you have to learnhow to capture a princess, because that's part of Begga dragon and there'sthis whole really awful section in the back. Where so goes off and tries to grab all theseyoung women and AK them away, and my little girl who'slike two and a half likes up in me was like stop doing to the lady, and I was like had to Explai this it bit. I I wa,basically talling Hes tryied to abduct her like Dou know what to say. This isreall. You know its really bad and it's kind of Fune, because then his friendwants to be captured. So she goes with him, but its. I know, and I know people are Goin Nabit- a is betce bact that ans WAII, but it's but like the message that you'resending is that you know. Actually. This is something that this male Pert,you know will be a dragon has got to learn. Is You know how to find a girl,but he can AP. I think Thi Isewa por part of the problem, though, that youjust put your finger on is that a lot of people be up in arms for yousuggesting that that is a bad thing. You know what is this a madeup littledragon? You know story for kids, but it's in these subtleties that sitwithin a patriarchcal society that has gone on dictating this kind of stuff,too low and too long ind. These super super subtle ways where people arewilling to just overlook them, because, oh it's a kid story. Oh It's a dragon.You know it's not real, but it's these subtle things that youknow belie tetal subcancious minds, other people as they grow up. You knowand- and you know hat the little people are like learning about the worldthrough all of these subtle means. You know there. They kno they're, not sort of just completely im teune to settle messaging like theypick up on so much. You know, you'R, a parent of you know, chloe's, likenearly three or three already haming up on three got for another couple months:Yeah Yeah, you know you must know as Wel as anybody else. You know all ofthe little things she picks of up Bund. My friend Lou son. He just remembers the most remarkablethings and both of his parents are like. How did you even like we didn't talkabout that? We didn't talk about that thing that we saw the other day, butyou know- and it's just so important, so I don't take people saying oh theirkids, Eydon't onlly pick up on it. Oh It's so sebtled! Oh it's make believeyou know. This is where they're learning about all things in life comefrom and it happens at an early age. So I shall be teaching my son to stay awayfrom Zog o. So Great Theyeah, actually a lot ofkid stories are very flod. I think a lot of popularculture like all of the stories that we tell children, that we tell teenagers,that we tell ourselves ev in our tws and s are all somthing as really badmessages. You know really negative messages that it's not okay for us tohave autonomy over our lives, nor bodies, the you know, the really like coolinteresting characters, a the ones who work like eight hundred hours a day,and I really like motivatedis an exciting and actually you can't justchit out and that you know it's not okay, to have a life and that yeah thatthe. If a guy really loves you, then he'll be really pushy about it. Ratherthan he'll respect your space, you know whate Ofe, these messages that weresending all of the time in in the stories that we create- and obviously I mean I'm a writerRachels, a filmmaker these e things that we we care about, but t thestories that we tell are. You know really really important and you know it starts yellow, but itcarries oll our whole lives. I think, and also the other thing, I'm reallykin on with my daughter last kind of little little tip for youRachel's new new mom to be, is you heat people all the time Gog? Oh, you haveto give Grandmaa Hurgor. You have to give you now youave toe, and I am. Iwent up to Helk my daughter Wan. So my mom said where I co it. You have togive Momey a cuddle and I really Dodo, but no she doesn't slike. She doesn'tJoest have to coble anybody. I joesnt want t you know et should have touchany, but she jues not to kiss anybody stuff like that. It's really importantbecause I think it you know that's when it starts that idea that you've got tomake other people feel comfortable and you've got to you know let other peoplein your space. If that's, what makes them happy? That's what they want, andyou know you don't. So I'm really kind of listened about that. My kids, no ato Hurg anybody Hor. They want to yeah a hundred percent completely agree withthat. As well D. It seems like you know what you're saying about you know: films, books, Culture ingeneral, sending these messages out. You know kids and women and peopleall people. You know embedding these kind of syst, Lik, patriarchal kind of systemsof working is very much based in...

...something that watch the spacis allabout changing. You know, because these things exist because they havebeen led traditionally and still very much are, and stories are just beingtold by one group of one kind of cross section of humanity and that'sgenerally, a white man telling women's stories telling Trans People's storiesyou know for them, whereas they have no sort of livedexperience of what it's really like, and so that's why we need more women.Minority groups telling those stories writing those books for kids, creatingthose TV programs creating films, creating theater all of these things.So we have a more diverse and inclusive sort of range of stories and voices outthere teaching our kids. You know and teaching ourselves as well about youknow that are ways of thinking. What ivarseways of thinking and seeing things from other people's perspectives as well? Sothat's definitely something that we're on a mission to, and on that note that has been a really great discussion,as all of our discussions always are Allega, of course. But thank you very much everybody forlistening to this episode of the podcast of Reimagination at work. You can find us on social mediaplatforms where at watch this spce and you can find us on our website at watchthis space Dotuk and that space with an a in the middle. So do you go andfollow us in all of the social videos? We have many interesting things to say and do you check out our latest serieswe're publishing every week on conversation starters, so tackling somebig questions and opening up the conversation for all people to gettogether and discuss these big issues that are happening in the world at themoment and probably will continue to happen for many years, but yeah check us out and do get intouch if you've got any ideas for other podcast you'd love to come on thepodcast. To talk to us about any kind of other conversations and yeah we'd love to hear from you aswell, but for now I shall say goodbye anl. Thank you very much for lisnes.

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