“Yes, And…”

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For many years, I’ve been involved with an improvisational arts community called Interplay that uses the arts of movement, singing and storytelling to advance people’s professional and personal growth. Interplay is an amazing process for improving how we deal with real life challenges in real time and practicing improv forms helps develop key skills for resilience.

One of my favorites is the “Yes, and” form where we move away from the “yes, but” negative thinking and instead create a can do approach to most any challenge. A fun way to practice this form with your own team is to begin a discussion about some challenging problem that is facing your group. It could be about how to work with a difficult customer or how your group is going to have to reduce expenses for the next fiscal year.

Instead of getting into potential negatives about why something may not work insist that everyone support building positive ideas by using “yes, and.” Go around the room with your group one or two times and track the level of engagement and creativity with your team. This little exercise will show you a lot about what your got.

Changing negative thinking requires practice but the effort is well worth the time. Everyone does better when they are on the page of success rather than the page of no-can-do.

© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2015

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