Yes, But to Yes, And

A great way to foster collaboration and validate the opinions of all people in a discussion. Try this: With a partner, choose a topic to discuss or a decision to be made, such as where to travel on a vacation. Person A states their idea, and person B responds with, “Yes, BUT….” and this continues, with the responses on both sides starting with, “Yes, BUT….”. Next, with the same partner, try the same discussion but start each response with, “Yes, AND….” and continue with that same opening phrase. You will notice that “Yes, But” can feel argumentative, adversarial, and can even shut down the communication. However, “Yes, And” feels collaborative, allows people to re-direct in a respectful way, agreements can usually be reached, and each person feels validated.