There are leaders who, despite having a clearly formulated set of criteria and prioritizing, focusing and delegating, do not regain control of their calendar. This is often because they apply the criteria but do not communicate the resulting decision.
They simply find it difficult to communicate the message. For them, saying „no“ is tantamount to rejecting someone. They do not consider the question at hand, „Do I want to accept this appointment?“. Rather, they are answering for themselves the question, „Does saying no to this appointment request jeopardize my relationship with this person?“
For those of us who are comfortable saying no, it may be hard to imagine that such people exist. However, this will to preserve the relationship at all costs is an innate personality trait that about half of people exhibit. So every second person we meet can hardly say no. Do you count yourself among them?
One way out of this situation is to pause for a moment, take a breath, and look at the criteria: „I’m not participating because no leader is needed at this appointment.“ sounds much nicer than a „no.“ Using the criteria allows for a nuanced view that allows the other person to understand the decision. More importantly, it brings the decision maker out of stress and into a state of calm that feels good. And when something feels good, we like to do it.