Some things can make all the difference.
Maybe saying “yes and” as opposed to “yes but” or "yes or" is one of them.
Words can be both our trap and our ticket.
“Yes but” and "yes or" can trap us into defending our position, dismissing someone else’s idea/belief/opinion and create unnecessary barriers.
“Yes and...” however, can be a ticket to greater understanding, creativity and connection.
That little change of "and” can be a doorway to:
- offer the possibility that other possibilities can co-exist alongside each other.
- show appreciation of, and respect for, another point of view.
- enable ideas to be built upon (it is an improvisional theatre technique after all).
- acknowledge that more than one truth exists.
- move expansively towards completeness rather than limitingly towards division.
- actively honour that life is full of paradoxes, and therefore help us to accept ambiguity and the paradoxes within ourselves.
“Yes there is much to celebrate on International Women’s Day this Thursday and we still have a long way to go in terms of women’s rights and equality”.
“Yes we are in an economic crisis and we need to continue to invest in our development”.
“Yes a leader can be both strong and vulnerable"
“Yes I do love you and do not appreciate that behaviour”.
Try it if you haven't already discovered its worth. Next time you find yourself about to say “yes but” or "yes or" pause...and rephrase with “yes and” ...and notice how you feel, how the other person reacts and how things evolve.
Image source: Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net