Yes, And...

We have a room in the Leadercast office that has a massive whiteboard painted on the wall. We call it the Creative Room. You can typically find a few co-workers using it as a social workspace, or a team meeting to dream up the next big idea.

So much of what we produce as an organization comes from these collaborative moments. Brainstorming brings out the best in us. Unfortunately for some, brainstorm type conversations can produce unintended results. Namely: hurt feelings, crushed creative spirits, and stalled progress.

At Leadercast we avoid those outcomes with a simple phrase that has transformed our collaborative culture; “Yes, and…”

Think about it most conversations you have on a daily basis. Odds are you are already thinking of what you want to say before the person talking finishes what they are saying. Here, picture a brainstorm conversation with James, Ashley, and Joel. James has a great idea, and Ashley responds with something like: “Or… how about this” or “No, what if we…”

Now imagine the same conversation, but instead Ashley says: “Yes, and…”

It’s a subtle tweak in language, but for us it makes all the difference. Ideas build, energy swells, creativity is bolstered. The outcome is often a beautiful collaboration that wouldn’t have been possible with a conversation littered with “no” “or” and “instead”.

Look at your calendar. When is your next brainstorm conversation? Before you begin, implement this simple ground-rule, and see if you notice a shift

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