Yes if… or yes and…?

Thanks to April K Mills at Engine for Change for generating some thinking for me.  April builds on a Tim Sanders post about the problem with devil’s advocates.  She proposes circumstances where a Yes, if … option could work instead of the Yes, and… reference in Tim’s post.  I can see applications and opportunities for  Yes, if …. as a transition activity to or from Yes, and…

In a previous post, I quoted Patricia Ryan Madson. “Blocking comes in many forms;  it is a way of trying to control the situation instead of accepting it.  We block when we say no, when we have a better idea, when we change the subject, when we correct the speaker, when we fail to listen, or when we simply ignore the situation.  ….. Saying no is the most common way we attempt to control the future.”

Thinking on that further, I remembered that recently I introduced a group of business partners to a Yes, and….Brainstorm.  Through playing the game, one person realised that his automatic response was to block any idea (no matter if it was in play or real life) that didn’t fit with his perspective or vision for the business.  It was a powerful moment for him, one that opened up deeper conversations in the team and resulted in them working together to create a new decision making model for the business.  Yes, if…. in that particular circumstance may not have lead to that breakthrough.

Lynn Walsh – workshop and meeting facilitator – Sydney- business and strategic planning – team conversations

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2 comments until now

  1. Yes if… or yes and…? http://bit.ly/bcTTyL A new #facilitation post inspired by @aprilkmills and @sandersays

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  2. Lynn – Thanks for linking over. I love your “Yes, and…” game. I will have to play that with a few of the groups I lead.

    I agree with your differentiation that “Yes, and…” probably leads to more of a breakthrough moment for the participants while “Yes, if…” is a softer way of modifying their “No…” and maybe even “No, because…” blocking behaviors.

    Gaining control of when to use “Yes, if…” and when to use “Yes, and…” is a powerful skill. Thanks for highlighting it for me.

    All my best – April K. Mills

    Thanks for connecting April. As the old saying goes, horses for courses! Cheers – Lynn

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