I have just spent the last two days participating in an Impro Melbourne workshop called Harold (well everything needs a name).
The underlying philosophy of improv is “Yes And”. No matter what someone proposes as an idea or starts as method, we make them right. We say YES to that idea. Then we add to it. It becomes a “Yes And” moment. Sometimes, the biggest “Yes And” is needed for our own ideas.
These workshops have been great for my speaking and MC work but they underlying philosophy has been far more valuable.
In our workshops I see how easy it is to default to the “No But” approach. To make the other person wrong, kill their idea and try and make ours right. It seems to be a baseline that it is very easy to fall back to. Constant work is required to focus on the “Yes And” and continue to make the other person look good.
This seems to be the case in the workplace as well. While it is true that sometimes people are incorrect, there is nearly always a “Yes And” approach to addressing a situation. To make the person feel supported and right, even while fixing a mistake. It can be hard to always focus on the “Yes And” but it is so worthwhile.
So how will you embrace the “Yes And” approach today?
PS I strongly encourage you to find an Improv school near you and take a few classes. It is great fun and there are so many fabulous life lessons too. Are you up to the challenge?