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What’s possible with “yes, and…”

I facilitated a workshop with 55 tech leaders.  I asked one of them to work with me and I said to him: “It was odd, I walked outside yesterday and the sky was green!”  He replied, very dubiously:  “Really?”


In applied improvisation – the tool we use in businesses – this is called “making an offer” and having the offer denied.  Another way to say it within the language of improvisation, is “making an offer and the other person answers with ‘no because’ instead of, ‘yes, and.’


When the participant said “Really?”  The conversation had nowhere to go. He denied my offer.

So let’s translate this into everyday terms.  How many times have you been sitting in a meeting; you offer an idea, and someone says the equivalent of a doubtful “really?”


How did that make you feel?


Or how many times have you done that to other people?  What would have happened if you’d said, “That’s interesting, tell me more…”


The power of “yes, and..” goes directly to active listening, connection, and belonging. What would be different on your team or in your company if this vital tool was the standard? 


We are booking into March. Let’s partner together to make your team members feel like they belong.


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