Yes, But…

Forgive me, I’ve been corporate retreating.

A theme that came up at dayjob daycamp – among other interesting things – was the wireframe for improvisation, ‘yes, and…’.

It was interesting to dive into this concept. It’s easy to write it all of because improv can be inherently lame, though beneficial for writing and working with a team. Still, it was the opposite of that wireframe that caught my attention, the idea of ‘yes, but…’.

‘Yes, but…’ is in essence, a confirming statement. It’s a means of letting people we know who have offered a point that frankly, we don’t give a flying fuck about what was said. When we offer that confirmation to those who express the desire to solution or to provide valid criticism, well, we’re shutting them down before any tangible work has even started.

A little homework: try going through your day and see how often you say, ‘yes, but…’ in any variation. Analyze why you say that and what the conversation was about. Did anything get resolved? Was the person you were in conversation with left feeling valuable or like a valid entity in your life? How often do you think we do this to one another without realizing it?

I’m not saying there’s no room to shut down ideas that lend no value to the conversation or the effort. I do think we’re often in such a rush to show OUR value or to validate OUR thinking that we lose sight of the team effort that’s required to push actual change and actual benefit.

Look at that. Improv isn’t useless.

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