“Yes, and…”

We live in a “yes, but…” society. In a restaurant, you might hear the wait staff say, “Yes, but this is not my section,” or “Yes, but I’m getting ready to go on break.” Those two words are far from inspiring. In fact, they deflate and kill creativity.

I think we should say Yes, and and say it more often.  Here’s why.

Continue the Conversation

When I decided to attend an improvisation workshop many years ago, I had no idea the life altering concept I would encounter; the concept of not denying the other person’s reality.  In improv, you have to go with whatever the other person says.  You can add to it, but you can’t undo it.  Once you deny it, you kill the scene.  I probably got on quite a few actors’ nerves until it finally clicked one session.  Until I got the hang of the “Yes, and” concept, I wasn’t able to continue the conversation.  This applies to the business world as well.

Turn Negativity into Positive Results

“Yes, and…” is all about finding a point of agreement and moving forward from there.  It creates an environment of possibility instead of rejection.  When you hear, “Yes, but…” it is deflating.  Is it really a yes or is it a “No” in disguise?  A “Yes, but…” will change the direction of a conversation by placing a big do not enter sign in the room.  Too many of those and you’re left with nowhere to go.  

An Example:

“I propose adding updated technology to all our employees to improve productivity.”

There are two ways to respond…

“Yes, that is a nice idea, but it’s not in the budget.”


“Yes, and we should explore the logistics of this in the next meeting.”

Which response continues the conversation by acknowledging the value others have on the team?  

Want to know more about continuing the conversation in your workplace?

Remember to sign up for the YES AND Challenge by visiting my website and scrolling down to the YES AND Challenge call to action box and click to sign up.