Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The power of "YES AND"

I don't know about you, but I was surprised to find out that there are actually rules to Improv Theater (try googling "improv theater rules" :-). And the first rule on most of the lists is called the rule of "Yes And". It simply means that an actor in an improv play should accept the information that he or she receives from the other actor(s) and build on it. This allows for energy to flow freely in the play and for great scenes to develop.
When you think about it, this is also a great rule to incorporate into "real" life. I find it very interesting to notice the different kind of energy that is produced by a "Yes And" answer in comparison, for example, to saying "Yes But". Whereas "And" seems to multiply energy, "But" seems to block the flow of energy. In fact, to me it seems that "Yes But" blocks energy almost as much as a "No" answer does.
So what if you disagree with what someone is saying or proposing. How about trying the "Yes Or" answer? "Or" seems to be a good way to reject something, while diverting energy into another direction, rather than blocking it. Anyway, try it and you'll see what works for you.
One final note for today. Many of you have probably seen the recent Jim Carrey movie "Yes man", which deals with this topic in an interesting way. If you haven't seen it, I definitely recommend checking it out.

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