What Does Will Ferrell and Learn2 Have In Common
What does Will Ferrell, one of the great Improv actors of modern times and Learn2, one of the most awarded leadership development companies in Canada, have in common? “Yes and…”!
“Yes and…” is a tool used by improv actors to continue a improve a scene by stacking ideas on top of each creating a more ridiculous story as the improv proceeds. At some point, one actor falters, and the game ends. End scene!
At Learn2, we also use a tool called, “Yes and…”. It’s designed to keep ideas flowing and reduce the chance of shutting down an idea before it can gain traction.
What makes “Yes and…” so powerful?
Most managers, leaders and colleagues, when asked a question or presented with an idea, will look for why an idea might not work. It’s an honest attempt to help, and there is a better way. Let’s look at a few examples.
Great idea, but we tried that before.
Great idea, but the cost seems out of our budget.
Each sentence starts with a positive tone. The “but” shuts down the idea immediately. It’s like saying, “I love you but…”. Not all that romantic is it.
Using “Yes and..” allows the idea to built upon.
Yes and, we could look at how we could make it work this time.
Yes and, we could pool resources to reduce the cost.
If a manager or leader starts using “Yes and…”, they open themselves to more possibilities and more ideas. Something that may not have seemed like it could work at first can quickly become a great idea or transform into something completely different that has incredible benefits to the organization.
How to run a “Yes and…” circle.
So how do you use this tool at your job, home and the world in general?
We have a specific use in the workplace, mainly for meetings and especially brainstorming sessions.
1. What you need.
A ball. Yes, a ball. You can reach out to us at Learn2.com, start a chat up and explain you would like to run a “Yes and…” circle. We’ll send you a ball if you can’t find one.
People in the meeting.
An open mind.
A timer, on your phone, a stopwatch, a clock on the wall. Anything to track 5 minutes.
2. What to do.
Explain to everyone in the meeting that you’re about to present a problem. Then you’re going to toss the ball to someone, and they simply start a sentence with “Yes and…[thier idea to help].”. Then they throw the ball to someone…gently, who in turn starts a statement with, “Yes and…”, building on the last idea or adding their own idea. It’s straightforward, a lot of fun, and frankly could help solve most of the world’s problems.
3. How to finish.
Watch the clock. At the 5 minute mark, call stop. It’ll be hard because ideas will be flowing. You can do it. Once time is up, you can move to the next stage of looking at the ideas, finding the best ones and assign action items to move them forward.
You can use “Yes and…” anywhere. The more you use those two words when presented with an idea or negotiating or trying to find a good place to eat, start your sentence with “Yes and…”. You’ll find people will be more open to your suggestions, you’ll experience less conflict, and you’ll get more ideas and possibilities in your life.
We’re Learn2, and it’s our mission to change the way the world works. We would love for you to join us in that mission. Here’s what to do, see this link? It’s for a quick 10 question assessment that will give you deep insight into your natural communication style. You’re going to love it. You need to do it, click the link and take the assessment, trust me. After that I really hope you’ll consider working with us, we create amazing results for our clients and would love the opportunity to do the same for you.
NATURAL COMMUNICATION STYLE.
Each person has a natural communication style.
Understanding yours can and will impact how effective you are when dealing with friends, co-workers and clients.