Tag Archives: fun

Yes And — The Power of Language

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 are a couple of videos that demonstrate this technique:

The Improv Yes-And Rule

The Yes-And Technique

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.

Pet Agility Sport

While exploring the attribute of agility, I discovered a another doggie sport! For fun, here are a few pet-inspired videos demonstrating successful (and not so successful) collaborations. Notice that each collaborator has a different motivation.

First the fabulous performance so that you understand the goal

But, as with collaborations,  it doesn’t always go that smoothly!

Dogs are initially trained with doggie treats but cats have a different motivation:

A fun toy and a willing owner! I have to go and try that on my kitties!

What motivates you?

If you’re hooked and want more of an explanation of the sport follow these links:

http://www.vidilife.com/video_play_13549_Dog_Agility.htm

Why We Love Cats and Dogs – Video: Cat Agility Show | Nature.

Debbie

Collaborating With an Expert

Here are some of the ways that Gwyn Nichols has helped with our book writing project.

by psd on flickr creative commons

Gwyn’s belief in us and excitement about our topic and kept us connected with our goal until we were able to set aside time to work on it more concretely.

She took our Collaborability assessment and created an online survey so that we could collect more data as well as demographic information. The survey included write-in comments about what participants would like to learn about collaboration and traits they thought were important for effective collaboration.

Gwyn facilitated our writer’s retreat in Chicago virtually. Together we planned our approach and she suggested multiple check-in calls. During those calls we talked about our progress, where we were stuck and our next steps. Gwyn typed up notes and emailed them to us.

The check-in calls kept us focused. Comments like “You guys have a dozen books to write. Which one do you want to start with?” helped us understand why things seemed like a jumble at times and to see a way to get clear.

One of our goals for the retreat was to start a blog. Maddie wrote the “Our Story” blog post and Gwyn edited it for us. She also commented on our blog posts and quoted them in her own blog. How encouraging!

Gwyn gave us tips on how to write when there’s no time. My favorite is the one about rewarding yourself which I wrote about in a previous post.

Who has served as a catalyst in your life or work? What have they done that has been helpful?

Collaborating on The Fun Theory

Do you take the escalator rather than the stairs?  What would it take for you to consider the more effortful way to climb?  Take a look at this video and see if this fun idea would make you leave your lazy tendencies aside.  Debbie and I are asking ourselves what this video has to do with collaboration.  It’s true that collaboration can be fun.  We’re admitting that collaborating for us is the fun way we can get things done. What is the connection to collaboration that you see  here?

Maddie

15 things I love about collaboration

Here are 15 things I love about collaboration.

  1. I get to feel surprise when my collaborators offer new twists on a thought.  I feel so alive when I’m surprised!
  2. Collaboration is often lots of fun.
  3. It heightens my sense of belonging.  I get to matter to someone else.  Collaboration can be an antidote for loneliness!
  4. Collaborating increases my sense of accountability to get things done.  I am motivated to not let others down.
  5. Collaboration brings talents and skills my way that really help to offset where I’m not particulary motivated or strong.
  6. 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!
  7. Collaboration reminds me that my way to do things isn’t the only one.  I get new lenses to look through by collaborating.
  8. 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.
  9. It increases the opportunity for acknowledgment.  There is never too much affirmation these days.  Being validated helps to build energy and creativity.
  10. 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!
  11. It’s like a non-stop laboratory for cooking up new things.  The atmosphere of testing and trying out new perspectives is so rich!
  12. Work seems so much easier and less effortful in a collaboration that really works.
  13. When I’m in a successful collaboration,  my faith in the generosity of spirit of people gets renewed.
  14. Collaboration gives me an opportunity to offer my ideas and thoughts to someone else.  Giving things away is such a satisfying experience!
  15. And I’ve saved the best for last…Collaboration led me to Debbie Exner – I love this woman – an expert collaborator!

Maddie