"Yes, and..." approach to conversation

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"Yes, and..." approach to conversation

Post by Panache on Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:17 am

Recently I read a book called The Natural Step Story by Karl-Henrik Robert, which is about industry and the environment, and Tina Fey’s Bossypants. You wouldn’t think those would have much in common. It kind of blew my mind, but they both proposed a way of communicating with people they called the “Yes, and…” approach, where you find something you can agree with in what the person just said, and then contribute something of your own. According to Tina Fey, this is an improv thing, and according to Robert, it’s a conflict management thing.

So – is this approach to conversation a thing, and I’ve just managed to avoid coming across it before? Or did I just happen to read almost back-to-back the two books that've come up with it?

And if it’s a thing, has anyone tried it? How does it work in practice?
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Re: "Yes, and..." approach to conversation

Post by Admin on Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:39 am

I haven't heard of that approach by name, but I think I may have used it frequently as a conflict management thing. I find it useful if I don't completely agree with someone's viewpoints, but focus first on what they and I do agree with first as a way of showing that I don't intend to cause conflict. I also find it useful at times to build on what someone previously said.
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Re: "Yes, and..." approach to conversation

Post by Panache on Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:57 am

I have noticed that you look for common ground with people. I've realized my approach is more to understand where the person is coming from, and maybe that's not always the most effective for the situation ("We have two hours to get oxygen to the shuttlecraft!" "And what are your views on transhumanism?"). I wonder if this "Yes, and..." approach would be especially effective when people are collaborating on figuring out solutions for a concrete problem, and it's especially important for people to keep finding common ground and generating new ideas.

It was funny to see the same approach illustrated in such different contexts:

"Do you know how expensive it will be to change our method of manufacturing refrigerator coolant?"
"Yes, that is a major issue up for discussion. What would you suggest?"

"You're a hamster in a hamster wheel!"
"Yes, look at me go! And I'm wearing a tiny cop's uniform!"

I've been thinking how I might use this approach: "Yes, if it's opposite day, and if not, you're completely wrong." would probably not be in the correct spirit of the thing.
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Re: "Yes, and..." approach to conversation

Post by error on Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:58 am

>>I wonder if this "Yes, and..." approach would be especially effective when people are collaborating on figuring out solutions for a concrete problem, and it's especially important for people to keep finding common ground and generating new ideas.

Most likely in a work setting where teams are working towards a common goal, where conflicts might hold back progress.

I don't think I've used it, or if I have it wasn't intentionally to avoid conflict... probably one of the reasons group projects are always more of a disaster than they have to be lol.

I hate the movie but this is very true, you can probably guess which one I am. Laughing

I like that you made that distinction between you and the admin, where she tries to find common ground and you aim to understand. Most of the time I'm just trying to get to the bottom of things so even if there's conflict, it just gets pushed aside... makes me seem like a control freak.

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Re: "Yes, and..." approach to conversation

Post by ForeverPure on Sat Oct 10, 2015 8:34 am

@error wrote:>>I wonder if this "Yes, and..." approach would be especially effective when people are collaborating on figuring out solutions for a concrete problem, and it's especially important for people to keep finding common ground and generating new ideas.

Most likely in a work setting where teams are working towards a common goal, where conflicts might hold back progress.

I don't think I've used it, or if I have it wasn't intentionally to avoid conflict... probably one of the reasons group projects are always more of a disaster than they have to be lol.

That's what happens when you train the "moldable" type of children to be individualists. I found that in almost every school project I had worked with in the past that was group-based failed miserably when it clearly consisted of individualists. Most of your "teammates" would be more keen on using strategies they learned in economics to make their other teammates do all the work and then take the credit for it.

Unsurprisingly enough, some of these students went on to get educated in some "advanced economics" course where they learn how to exploit the exploding demand for addictive substances. Then after they get some fancy-dancy certificate , they get a job title that is something like this: "Manager of Global Emerging Economical Technologies in Advanced Economies and Customer Relations".

What job do these people do exactly? They certainly do not plant food, build houses, harvest crops, clean streets or provide care. Their job usually consists of large amounts of commuting, texting, social media, office meetings and consuming caffeine.

It's rather amusing that when you try to tell those people that you seek a job in the trades, they treat it as if you were "throwing your future away" - as if texting and drinking caffeine under fluorescent lights is a useful occupation.

Do not even get me started on the label of "unskilled" labour - if it so unskilled - then why do they need the most intelligent species on the planet to do it? Someone has to provide what we need - and often what people need is not what they want. Both a scientist and a farmer are valuable - both can contribute to the common good and work together, and both have a different set of skills.

How do you determine the actual monetary value of something or someone? A capitalist can put a price tag on a human being and claim that is what they are worth, but the reality is much different. The truth is, everything and everyone is priceless. There is no "monetary" cost except the one set by the printing press.

Likewise, the notion of "independence" and "self-reliance" is a myth. The same people claiming taxation is theft have been benefiting from the collectively funded social services their entire life. This phobia of working as a team and benefiting from the combined effort is what is sending humanity backwards.

You cannot escape dependence except through death. Even living alone in a forest makes you dependent on the resources produced by the local ecosystem. The only thing you can change is how much you contribute to that system, which in return will provide for you even more.

"Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done" - Jack Layton
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Re: "Yes, and..." approach to conversation

Post by Admin on Sat Oct 10, 2015 11:02 am

I dreaded most group projects in middle school and high school. I believed in doing much of the project myself, but I likely would've had much of the work dumped on me anyways, because I knew at least one on the team was a slacker, and my teammates often seemed more interested in socializing with each other instead of working on the project. Because they weren't taking the project seriously, I knew it was up to me to, and I didn't like bailing them out.

Other team projects where I was less skilled than the others I also dreaded, because I felt like I was dead weight to the team even though I took the project seriously. I thought my other teammates if more skilled than me, would've seen me as negatively as I saw my teammates who were slackers and whom I had to cover for.

I used to be a hardcore individualist, and it showed. It took me a long time to understand the idea of actual teamwork, where it isn't "be good at everything otherwise you're dead weight to the team". Everything seemed like a competition.

@ForeverPure wrote:
@error wrote:>>I wonder if this "Yes, and..." approach would be especially effective when people are collaborating on figuring out solutions for a concrete problem, and it's especially important for people to keep finding common ground and generating new ideas.

Most likely in a work setting where teams are working towards a common goal, where conflicts might hold back progress.

I don't think I've used it, or if I have it wasn't intentionally to avoid conflict... probably one of the reasons group projects are always more of a disaster than they have to be lol.

That's what happens when you train the "moldable" type of children to be individualists. I found that in almost every school project I had worked with in the past that was group-based failed miserably when it clearly consisted of individualists. Most of your "teammates" would be more keen on using strategies they learned in economics to make their other teammates do all the work and then take the credit for it.

Unsurprisingly enough, some of these students went on to get educated in some "advanced economics" course where they learn how to exploit the exploding demand for addictive substances. Then after they get some fancy-dancy certificate , they get a job title that is something like this: "Manager of Global Emerging Economical Technologies in Advanced Economies and Customer Relations".

What job do these people do exactly? They certainly do not plant food, build houses, harvest crops, clean streets or provide care. Their job usually consists of large amounts of commuting, texting, social media, office meetings and consuming caffeine.

It's rather amusing that when you try to tell those people that you seek a job in the trades, they treat it as if you were "throwing your future away" - as if texting and drinking caffeine under fluorescent lights is a useful occupation.

Do not even get me started on the label of "unskilled" labour - if it so unskilled - then why do they need the most intelligent species on the planet to do it? Someone has to provide what we need - and often what people need is not what they want. Both a scientist and a farmer are valuable - both can contribute to the common good and work together, and both have a different set of skills.

How do you determine the actual monetary value of something or someone? A capitalist can put a price tag on a human being and claim that is what they are worth, but the reality is much different. The truth is, everything and everyone is priceless. There is no "monetary" cost except the one set by the printing press.

Likewise, the notion of "independence" and "self-reliance" is a myth. The same people claiming taxation is theft have been benefiting from the collectively funded social services their entire life. This phobia of working as a team and benefiting from the combined effort is what is sending humanity backwards.

You cannot escape dependence except through death. Even living alone in a forest makes you dependent on the resources produced by the local ecosystem. The only thing you can change is how much you contribute to that system, which in return will provide for you even more.

"Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done" - Jack Layton

That's awful that you've had to deal with those kind of "teammates". Can you even call them teammates if they weren't really working as a team? I don't think I've had any teammates like that with any project, but I see what you mean. The hard work is vastly under-valued and I've also found it surprising that so many people think getting a job in the trades means "throwing the future away". From what I've seen, the jobs in the trades pay decently, but they're not glamorized. I wonder if that's part of it; the less glamorous jobs are seen as a waste, no matter how useful they are or how much they pay, and some people who just want to sit around texting want to be able to get paid for it.
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Re: "Yes, and..." approach to conversation

Post by SCH0206 on Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:20 pm

Well, I have the opposite problem as related to teams. I never liked group projects in K-12 and college because I preferred (and still prefer) to work alone. Why does it take 4-5 people to do something only one person can do? I found fellow teammates either annoying or useless. I was sometimes chided for not being much involved, but maybe that's because it wasn't the appropriate environment for me to begin with. Schools to me aren't exactly loner-friendly since there's a lot of emphasis on group work.

During my middle school and high school years, teachers thought my loner behavior was something to fix, and my mother even threatened to take me to professional help. First of all, I'm pretty introverted to begin with, and second, many of my peers were bullies, and why would I want to hobnob with mean people?

In spite of the responsibilities that come with adulthood, I find that I have more freedom and peace now than during my childhood. I can be a loner without someone biting my head off or threaten to punish me for it. I can leave a place where I don't fit in, something minors can't do.

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Re: "Yes, and..." approach to conversation

Post by Admin on Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:49 pm

@SCH0206 wrote:Well, I have the opposite problem as related to teams. I never liked group projects in K-12 and college because I preferred (and still prefer) to work alone. Why does it take 4-5 people to do something only one person can do? I found fellow teammates either annoying or useless. I was sometimes chided for not being much involved, but maybe that's because it wasn't the appropriate environment for me to begin with. Schools to me aren't exactly loner-friendly since there's a lot of emphasis on group work.

During my middle school and high school years, teachers thought my loner behavior was something to fix, and my mother even threatened to take me to professional help. First of all, I'm pretty introverted to begin with, and second, many of my peers were bullies, and why would I want to hobnob with mean people?

In spite of the responsibilities that come with adulthood, I find that I have more freedom and peace now than during my childhood. I can be a loner without someone biting my head off or threaten to punish me for it. I can leave a place where I don't fit in, something minors can't do.

I also felt the same way about group work, being a loner too. Having to pick the group to be in was always the worst. People who have friends in a class like it, but I dreaded it more than being assigned a group, since in most of my classes, I didn't know any of my classmates very well. The friends I had generally weren't in my classes. Did you dread those group activities even more than being assigned a group for that same kind of reason too?

Your introversion was never something that needed to be changed, and it's awful that your mother threatened to take you to therapy to change for her. Were your teachers aware of the bullying, or did they still demand that you worked with your bullies?
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Re: "Yes, and..." approach to conversation

Post by SCH0206 on Sat Oct 10, 2015 1:14 pm

I don't think I ever had a project where I had to pick people. If I did, I forgot, and if I ever had such a project, there weren't many I could choose from since I was an outcast, and had very short-lived friendships.

I'm not sure if the teachers who judged me were aware of it, but they didn't bother to find out. They just said, "You need to be more talkative and outgoing." (Sigh.) I'm glad those days are over.

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Re: "Yes, and..." approach to conversation

Post by error on Sun Oct 11, 2015 11:51 pm

@ForeverPure wrote:
That's what happens when you train the "moldable" type of children to be individualists. I found that in almost every school project I had worked with in the past that was group-based failed miserably when it clearly consisted of individualists. Most of your "teammates" would be more keen on using strategies they learned in economics to make their other teammates do all the work and then take the credit for it.

Unsurprisingly enough, some of these students went on to get educated in some "advanced economics" course where they learn how to exploit the exploding demand for addictive substances. Then after they get some fancy-dancy certificate , they get a job title that is something like this: "Manager of Global Emerging Economical Technologies in Advanced Economies and Customer Relations".

What job do these people do exactly? They certainly do not plant food, build houses, harvest crops, clean streets or provide care. Their job usually consists of large amounts of commuting, texting, social media, office meetings and consuming caffeine.

It's rather amusing that when you try to tell those people that you seek a job in the trades, they treat it as if you were "throwing your future away" - as if texting and drinking caffeine under fluorescent lights is a useful occupation.

Do not even get me started on the label of "unskilled" labour - if it so unskilled - then why do they need the most intelligent species on the planet to do it? Someone has to provide what we need - and often what people need is not what they want. Both a scientist and a farmer are valuable - both can contribute to the common good and work together, and both have a different set of skills.

How do you determine the actual monetary value of something or someone? A capitalist can put a price tag on a human being and claim that is what they are worth, but the reality is much different. The truth is, everything and everyone is priceless. There is no "monetary" cost except the one set by the printing press.

Likewise, the notion of "independence" and "self-reliance" is a myth. The same people claiming taxation is theft have been benefiting from the collectively funded social services their entire life. This phobia of working as a team and benefiting from the combined effort is what is sending humanity backwards.

You cannot escape dependence except through death. Even living alone in a forest makes you dependent on the resources produced by the local ecosystem. The only thing you can change is how much you contribute to that system, which in return will provide for you even more.

"Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done" - Jack Layton

I don't know about them being individualists, if anything that's the label that applies to me, not them. I would much rather work alone because I can get it done and I can do it correctly, this is simply not true for most people. They don't care about the work itself, they just want to sit around and socialize then maybe get it done (and in poor quality) the last second. I'd disagree with you that self-reliance is a myth on a small scale.

You are absolutely right about office jobs. They don't usually contribute anything of value, they are a waste of resources. And it is the "unskilled labor" that gives us our essential needs. Useful occupation = corporations and what makes the most money, that's how it's commonly defined. Money cannot buy time, yet people would trade their time for money without a second thought. You can't put a number on something as abstract as value.

But taxation can definitely be theft, depends on who's collecting the taxes, on what they're collecting it, and what they use it for. I don't really come across people who complain about their taxes being used to build roads.

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