Yes, AND…

We all work in teams and let’s just be honest, disagreeing is a healthy component of group growth. The only problem is, what happens when the environment becomes toxic with negativity? Who wants to be part of THAT group? Wouldn’t it be more empowering to have teams who “plus” each others’ ideas instead of tearing them down?

If you agree with anything I have said, then you need to try the No, BUT… Yes, AND strategy.

Where did we experience this idea? A group of Liberty educators were given the opportunity to participate in the Lean Lab this fall and one of the best activities of the day shared was actually a foundational component of improvisation (improvteams.

This is how our Lean Lab facilitators started… break into partners, identifying one speaker and one responder.  The speaker has two minutes to verbally plan a party, maybe a child’s birthday, a holiday gathering, etc. The responder can interject, but MUST start the statement with No, BUT and then they respond to the conversation.

End of two minutes – what is the general feel of the party planners?

Time to switch – the responder is now planning a party verbally for two minutes with the previous speaker responding starting with Yes, AND in response to the conversation.

End of two minutes – has the mood of the party planners improved?  Of course it has. Why? Because when you interject with Yes, AND you are adding to the original idea. You may disagree, but using the words “Yes, AND” requires you to frame the message in a positive way.

Don’t believe me? Try it. We engaged teachers today within a ____ Based Learning session. We had teachers use the Yes, AND approach when talking about possible audiences for their students. What happened? More ideas were generated, there was laughter and smiling all around, and a trusting atmosphere was created as everyone knew their voice mattered to the conversation.

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