I’m always intrigued when I find the same idea popping up in two totally different contexts. It makes me think the universe is saying, “Hey. Seriously. Think about this.“
This happened to me with the phrase “Yes, and…”.
The concept comes from improvisational theater and the rule is, when asked a question or given a suggestion, you must reply with “Yes, and…”.
I read the idea first in Parents magazine as a means of playing more creatively with your kids, and then found the concept again in Dan Pink‘s book on sales, To Sell is Human.
Here’s the thing:
Using ” Yes, and…” opens the door to creative possibilities.
It forces you to use your imagination and encourages participation.
And it’s a lot harder than it sounds.
In trying to incorporate this idea into my own life, it has made me aware of how often I use the phrase “Yes, but…”.
Where “Yes, and…” opens the door, responding with “Yes, but…” closes it. It negates what the other person said and effectively shuts down the conversation.
A team member comes to you with an interesting but unexpected professional development opportunity. How do you respond?
“Yes, but it’s not in the budget.”
“Yes, and we can review the budget to see if there are any extra funds available.”
See the difference??
Try using “Yes, and…” and observe how your personal and professional interactions can be enhanced simply by your choice of phrase.
Originally posted July 1, 2013
This post contains affiliate links to Powell’s Books.
(Photo by *_Abhi_* via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)