Here's the Story
Recently, my friends and I spent the evening reliving our youth at a Prince tribute concert. Still showering in the beauty of Purple Rain, one friend suggested we all hang out a little longer. Immediately, I thought of paying a sitter more. As a result, I wanted to go home, get in my bed, and drift off to plans for my tomorrow. However, in true YES AND spirit, instead of shutting my friend down, I suggested we go to a nearby bar for one drink.
Next, another friend picked up the momentum and suggested we go to a specific bar, which was nearby. All of a sudden (loud on top of that), friend three broke our flow. She responded, “No, I don’t like that atmosphere. Let’s go here instead.” While the flow may have been broken, it was not undeterred. Friend one (me) and friend two laid down a little Mavens 101, the life practice of saying “YES, AND” instead of no and but.
The practice of “YES, AND” is essentially to agree to whatever your counterpart states. This action is the second rule of improv; to accept and add your own. Basically, say cool and expand upon that scenario. Even if you don’t agree, you validate another’s contribution then, add your own.
Now let’s apply this practice to my post-concert puzzle with friends. How can we change the NO to a YES, AND to keep things moving? She could have said:
- “Sure, we can pop in, and if it is sleepy, I know a great place nearby.” or
- “Okay, and after, if we decide to go for another drink, I know a spot that is more upbeat.
In saying YES, AND you continue to foster positivity and productivity. Besides, YES, AND keeps things moving and lets everyone involved know that they and their thoughts matter. Think about how you can apply this practice into your daily life. Try it with your family, friends, colleagues, customers, and on and on.
Practice Yes, and this week. It is not about saying yes to everything, but more about carpe diem and that you are respectful of other’s contributions.
You may not always agree with everyone, so agree with the ones who count.