Yes And is a technique that is taught in improvisational acting and in communications courses.
In improv, an actor begins supplying some bit of information that helps to create the scene. They may say to another actor “Looks like we’re in for a bad storm.” This is called an offer and the other actor’s job is to accept the offer and support their scene partner. They might say “Yes and I hope that the road doesn’t flood.” The opposite of accepting the offer is blocking, for example, contradicting the offer, which stops the flow of the scene.
Here is a video that demonstrate this technique:
The Improv Yes-And Rule
Yes And as a communication technique is meant to raise awareness of when we are dismissive of the ideas of other people. For example, Chris says “We could hire a virtual assistant to handle all the routine work that is using up all of our time.” Lee says “Yes but we’d have to spend time training a VA in how we want things done.”
The “but” in that reply can feel like a rejection of the original idea. Can’t you just hear Chris say “You’re always so negative. How are we ever going to get out from under if we don’t do anything?”
If Lee said “Yes and we’d have to spend time training a VA in how we want things done.” The conversation might continue in a similar vein. “Yes and we could start the VA in stages to break up the time drain.” Or even “Yes and we’d want to think of a way to minimize the disruption.”
Use the “Yes And” method to acknowledge and accept another’s suggestion and build on it.
Posted in collaboration, communication, porous
Tagged accepting the offer, acknowledge, awareness, brainstorming, collaborative techniques, communication, creativity, Debbie Exner, fun, habits, improvization, innovation, Maddie Hunter, pattern break, porous, support, Yes And
Here are 15 things I love about collaboration.
- I get to feel surprise when my collaborators offer new twists on a thought. I feel so alive when I’m surprised!
- Collaboration is often lots of fun.
- It heightens my sense of belonging. I get to matter to someone else. Collaboration can be an antidote for loneliness!
- Collaborating increases my sense of accountability to get things done. I am motivated to not let others down.
- Collaboration brings talents and skills my way that really help to offset where I’m not particulary motivated or strong.
- Things can be messy in a collaboration as ideas expand and build. Messiness is a path to creativity for me. I enjoy the time of not knowing -when the mix of ideas is swimming around – before a sure path emerges. Check out Keith Sawyer’s book called Group Genius to read more on what power there is in this mess!
- Collaboration reminds me that my way to do things isn’t the only one. I get new lenses to look through by collaborating.
- It is a source of efficiency. I can get more done than when I’m on my own. I think there is something about shared accountability for a success that increases my productivity.
- It increases the opportunity for acknowledgment. There is never too much affirmation these days. Being validated helps to build energy and creativity.
- When I collaborate the times of being stuck are few and far between. Collaborators often say when something is uncertain or stalled, add another person in the mix. That often re-engages momentum!
- It’s like a non-stop laboratory for cooking up new things. The atmosphere of testing and trying out new perspectives is so rich!
- Work seems so much easier and less effortful in a collaboration that really works.
- When I’m in a successful collaboration, my faith in the generosity of spirit of people gets renewed.
- Collaboration gives me an opportunity to offer my ideas and thoughts to someone else. Giving things away is such a satisfying experience!
- And I’ve saved the best for last…Collaboration led me to Debbie Exner – I love this woman – an expert collaborator!
Posted in collaboration
Tagged accountability, acknowledgment, belonging, collaboration, creativity, Debbie Exner, efficiency, fun, Group Genius, Keith Sawyer, Maddie Hunter, perspectives, surprise