I was talking to a friend who’s involved with improv theater. One of the critical foundations to improvisation is keeping options open, building on one another’s prompts. The tool to do this? A simple phrase.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about how this phrase could apply to my everyday life and ministry.
- What if, instead of shutting down others’ ideas in a meeting, I said, “Yes, and…”?
- What if, when a student makes an off-topic comment during confirmation, I stopped to really listen and followed up with, “Yes, and…”?
- What if, when someone points out something wrong with my work, I responded with, “Yes, and…”?
I think what I like most about this “Yes, and…” approach is that it requires recognizing the other person’s humanity. Both people in the interaction have something to offer. Both people are valuable. And this simple phrase creates and opportunity to work together toward something better.
So now I’ve got a reminder stuck to my computer to encourage me to live out this statement.
When will you say, “Yes, and…” this week?