What is “Yes, and…”?
“Yes, and…” is a rule-of-thumb that encourages a participant to listen to and build on an idea that another participant presents. This approach keeps the lines of communication open and fosters cooperation and friendship.
For example, Alice starts the scene as a surgeon. Bob accepts this offer (the “yes”) and continues the scene as a nurse who is secretly in love with the surgeon (the “and…”). They’ve begun a good storyline that can go in many creative directions.
Applying “Yes, and…” to work
Now it’s time to build on that idea to make it better. My favourite is mind-mapping, using a diagram to organize information visually. Utilizing a mind-map allows my team and me to develop multiple ideas simultaneously. Sometimes, we can connect or combine different plans and create a brand new solution that we haven’t considered before.
The “Yes, and…” principle keeps me supportive, open-minded, and flexible. I’m lucky to have been part of many teams that follow this approach.