conversation is an engine

A lot can happen in a conversation

Your Office Needs More “Yes, and…” Men and Women

with 3 comments

 How to Grow Collaborators 1-2-3

  1. Share your first thoughts as if they were dumb sketches.
  2. Wait for—look for—and welcome reactions.
  3. Then say “Yes, and ….”
  4. Rinse & repeat.
Clear a space for your team.

Clear a space for your team.

You model commitment to collaboration by sharing your first thoughts. This dumb sketch approach to life makes you vulnerable and open to criticism. And there will be criticism. But vulnerability + time creates serious ballast around the notion of getting full engagement from all those around.

Your “Yes, and…” is the other shoe that drops to indicate you are also taking your colleagues seriously. It doesn’t matter whether your colleagues are bosses or employees, “Yes, and…” works up and down the corporate food chain. “Yes, and…” is your go-to reaction to ideas. People will gradually come to understand you think the world needs more ideas with legs and feet, ideas that accomplish stuff.

As kids we taunted each other with how sticks and stones break bones but words, well…you know. But it turns out words have a more complicated existence. In many respects, words have far more power than we ever guessed. And in this growing of collaborators, our words can make stuff happen out in the world (a “speech-act,” one might say). It only takes one committed collaborant (I think I just made up a word or re-purposed a French word) to begin to clear a safe space for collaboration. That space will invite collaborators, who become a nucleus to change a team, a group, an organization—and more.

How will you encourage collaboration today?


Image credit: Kirk Livingston

Written by kirkistan

September 17, 2014 at 9:38 am

3 Responses

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  1. I’ll encourage collaboration by helping someone else’s dream.


    September 21, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    • Yes! And perhaps you own dream will be impacted in your helping. Thanks for reading.


      September 21, 2014 at 10:37 pm

  2. […] changed and with new resolve for the most important things facing us. It’s a sort of speech-act theory for anyone willing to take a dumb-sketch approach to […]

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