Be Additive with a “Yes And…”

Posted by Kristin Arnold on September 13, 2016

I had the pleasure of being interviewed today for the podcast “Steal the Show” by Michael Port.  What a great discussion about facilitation and panel moderation.  At one point in the interview, Michael mentioned a technique that he encourages all his panelists to use: Rather than saying, “But” and expressing a different point of view, how about saying, “Yes, and….”

The word “but” closes down the conversation whereas “Yes and….” allows the conversation to continue.  And I agree!  I also often suggest a ground rule to my panelists of “be additive, not repetitive.” Even if you are not a panelist, I’m sure you can think of numerous ways to use this in your business relationships or even with your spouse or family members. How many conversations would have been more robust if you would have used “Yes and…”?

After I hung up the phone, I then wondered, “Did I ever say, ‘but'” in our conversation?

What’s your tendency as a leader and as a communicator?  To say “yes and” or challenge others with a “but”?


If you are responsible for writing annual performance reviews OR are the direct supervisor of an employee, join us for a webinar  called “A Better Alternative to the Annual Performance Review” on September 29th featuring international business transformation specialist, Joe Sherren, CSP, HoF, Fellow GSF.

KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CMC, CPF, CSP is a high stakes meeting facilitator and professional panel moderator.  She’s been facilitating teams of executives and managers in making better decisions and achieving greater results for over 20 years.  She is the author of the award-winning book, Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve and Inspire Audiences to Action.

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