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Jeannine Williams

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Chief Assistant City Attorney
City of St. Petersburg, Florida

www.stpete.org


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Lesson 48

The Art and Science of Saying No


“Your brain is a fascinating organ. It only weighs three pounds and is uniquely divided into two hemispheres which process information in very distinct ways. My oldest daughter is a left-brained and right-brained person who can just as easily create beautiful sculptures as she can solve difficult calculus problems. Most of us are not wired this way. Many of us lawyers lean to the left. I lean to the left so dramatically, it’s hard to stand up straight. I can barely draw stick figures and visualizing a highly decorated room gives me a headache.

As analytical as lawyers are, you would think the science of saying “no” would be easy. We are taught in law school to consider all sides of the argument and advocate for one or the other. We should easily weigh the pros and cons of “yes” versus “no.” But often we find ourselves saying “yes” when we really want to, and should, say “no.” Why is that?”


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“If a woman reads this book and thinks to herself, ” That’s me,” or “If she can do that, so can I, that would be awesome.” – Nora Riva Bergman


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