How To Say NO And Still Feel The LOVE

If you’ve read my previous posts your familiar with what I refer to as the “Compliance Effect”. Often, as compliance professionals, people are not always happy to see us when we walk in the room. They noticeably shrink in their seats just waiting to hear us deliver the news that they can’t do something because of the “rules”.

However, in order to minimize the sting of the word “no” there are ways in which compliance officers can more effectively communicate.


We can adjust our communication style to more effectively connect with people.  It is no different than when we talk with our children or a beloved grandparent. We adjust how we communicate with them. We must reflect how the person is talking with us. Are they calm? Are they high energy? In my work, if I’m talking to someone who is more laid-back, I want to respect their personal way of communicating and I too become more laid-back.  We must mirror how they are communicating so that they are comfortable with us.


The same holds true in listening.  We must adjust our needs to communicate and really listen because we really need to understand what it is they are trying to do. This takes effort and concentration because most of the time we are trying to explain our own position. By being patient and listening to the challenges the person is facing and letting them “get it all out” I find that they are more than willing at the end to listen to what I need to say, and by that time, it is very little, because I’m able to tailor the message exactly to what they need to hear.


It is important to be patient to demonstrate respect for their side of the story and also let them know that I comprehend their side of the story by reflecting not only their personal way of communicating, but also repeating back what they told me in their own words. This demonstrates both empathy on my part, but it also demonstrates flexibility on my part of being able to talk to many types of people. If you want people to love you as a compliance officer, be sure to respect a person’s communication style and really listen to where they are coming from. They have challenges too!

To effectively put these into practice will take time, effort and energy.  Be patient, persevere and you can still feel the love…even if your delivering “no”.