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Say “Yes, And … “

The fundamental principle of improve is agreement, that is to say “Yes, And” to any offer received. A person who agrees and builds upon an offer will find that opportunities open up that they had never before imagined. The key is to not only accept, the “Yes” half, but to also build, the “And” half of the agreement. By accepting and building, a new object, idea, premise, or theory is created, and the scene moves forward. Any member of the group is in agreement to accept the offer and to move it forward in a positive direction.

How many times have you offered an idea at work to a manager, group or peer and had it rejected without consideration? “That’s never going to work here.” “We tried that already.” “The boss won’t like that idea.” Rejection is a deterrent to the creative process, and teaches people to stop offering ideas and suggestions for fear of ridicule, negative career impact and being singled out for not thinking like everyone else. While it’s important to be in alignment with the group to get work done, a group needs to throw off constraints to do creative brainstorming . Really ridiculous ideas can be at least written down in order to capture them for future consideration, instead of rejected on their face.

Saying Yes, And is a powerful personal application to allow you to move forward. Saying Yes, you accept reality as it is, not as you would like it to be. Saying And, you add something positive to the situation, no matter how small or seemingly trivial. The beautiful result is you’ve moved yourself past fighting the situation and into solving the problem, which is more valuable skill to offer your employer, AND especially if you’re working for yourself.

Elaine Lung

Elaine Lung helps people speak with clarity and impact, using storytelling skills and applied improv skills as the “secret sauce”.

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