Today, people are so cautious to not hurt anybody’s feelings that the ability to give someone a direct, straight answer has become the exception, not the norm. Society really just wants you to tell it what it wants to hear vs. what it needs to hear. This is especially true when we hear about “bullying”, “hazing”, etc. that seems to fill up the news everyday. That said, there is a HUGE difference in bullying vs simply giving them a direct, factual answer. While that directness might hurt their feelings in the short term, the overall relationship moving forward will be based on a much firmer foundation of mutual respect and providing feedback/insights/comments that can be constructively stated.
Especially in a business setting where time is money, getting a timely response or decision is a much better play from a planning perspective, than waiting weeks or months on a decision you hope is a “yes.” From experience, the longer a process takes to come to a final decision, the higher the likelihood the answer is not going to be overly positive.
Just shoot it straight to someone, even if it is not the answer they want to hear. You will garner much more professional respect by “shooting straight” than by “stringing someone along with false hope.”
That’s the bottomline…
“Change…Part Nature…Part Opportunity”