How?

If I were to ask you help me bake 100,000 cookies by the end of the day - what would you say?

"No. It can't be done!  We cant fit the ingredients in my car. We don't have enough room to make the cookie dough. We can only make 100 cookies an hour in your oven."

Immediately your mind came up with several reasons why it cant be done. Your mind can usually come up with ways to justify whatever you want. If you immediately say "no, it can't be done" then that's what you find reasons to support. Saying no creates obstacles. Obstacles make it hard to do things and limit how much you actually end up doing.

So, should you immediately say "yes" to everything? Of course not - that would lead to making commitments you can't keep.
If "no" and "yes" are bad answers, then what should the answer be?

How! Your first response should be to ask "how?" How could we do it? Remember, your mind can justify or come up with a reason that supports whatever you want. If you ask how then you will come up with ways to do it. Saying how creates options.

"How? We could find 25 people to help us. We we rent a commercial kitchen. We could make no bake cookies." You see, there is always a way - it is simply a matter of resources (time, money and people.)

Once you have some "how's" then you can decide if it is worth the resources and say "yes" or "no." Incidentally, immediately saying "yes" without thinking of the cost in resources is nearly as bad as immediately saying "no" because you may not keep your commitments - and if you do that too often you lose trust too.

Why on earth do I want you to help me bake 100,000 cookies? Well, many of you know - its not about the cookies. There are some team members that I get to work with in another location that whenever I send them a request immediately respond with "no, it can't be done, and let me tell you why..." I then have to ask "how" and after a couple of rounds of "no, I can't be done, and let me tell you why..." I normally get what I need. I am sure in time they see the power of "how" but for now I am grateful I keep getting to practice my "how's!"

Think about what your default response is. Do you always say "yes" or "no" or do you ask "how."  I encourage you to get in to the habit of making your default response to any request in the future to ask "how."