Change is hard. No doubt about it. I was coaching a client the other day, and I could just hear it in his voice – he started the session clinging to the status quo at all costs. As we discussed the challenges he has at work, his reply to every solution, technique, or possibility, was, “Yes, but… [fill in the blank].”
“Yes, but” thinking comes from a world of limitation and works to keep you stuck where you are. An alternative is “yes, and” thinking.
Apparently, improv actors are taught to work with “yes, and” thinking – that’s a big part of the secret sauce behind how they make those clever improvisational comedies that are still funny riff after riff and show after show. The way “yes, and” thinking works is, for everything you say to me, I’ll not only say “yes;” I will also add something to what you offered. In other words, I’ll build on what you brought to the table rather than resist it. This is a creative process bound to generate interesting ideas and unexpected developments. “Yes, and” is a conversation; “yes, but” is an argument.
Try on “yes, and” today and see what happens. The client I mentioned above agreed to try it and so far, so good. I’d love to hear about your experience.