Yes, And…

Last month when we were on vacation we took a little improv workshop.  I also read Tina Fey’s new book, some of which is focused on the art of improv.  Both the workshop and the book taught the principle of “Yes, and…”

The idea is that in improv, you can’t deny your fellow actor.  You need to accept what they gave you, and then add to it.  So if the other actor says, “Then an water buffalo walked in, carrying a water pistol,” you don’t say, “No, it was actually a kangeroo.”  You say, “Yes, it was a water buffalo carrying a water pistol, and he started shooting it at everyone in the room.”

It’s a pretty good principle for life.  I know I’m often too quick to say no, to not see the validity of the ideas of others, to deny them or give a “Yes, but…”  But I would be way more empowering, show people my faith in them, and maybe see some amazing things happen if I had more of a “Yes and” mentality.