The “Yes, And…” Approach

Improvisational theatre, often called improv or impro is a form of theater where most or all of what is performed is created at the moment it is performed. In its purest form, the dialogue, the action, the story and the characters are created collaboratively by the players as the improvisation unfolds in present time, without use of an already prepared, written script.

There is a principle of improv that says in order to draw an audience into the drama, each actor must take a “yes, and” approach. If one actor says that it is a cold day and shivers, then all the other actors must join in and build on that to create a realistic scene, collaboratively, on-the-fly. In short, it leads to better performances.

When they’re collaborating onstage, improv performers never reject one another’s ideas—they say “yes, and” to accept and build upon each new contribution. It’s a total philosophy of creativity. ‘Yes, and’ creates, while ‘no’ stops the flow.

That’s an important lesson in any business setting that demands cooperation and innovation. Improv requires excellent listening skills, rewards those who shed their inhibitions and leap into the middle of the group dynamic, and offers valuable lessons about the wisdom of shrugging off setbacks.

This type of open, positive approach to disagreement or conflict is a catalyst. It’s amazing how people respond when you listen and give their opinions credence. It’s a softening mechanism. It’s such an easy thing to do, with big and unintended returns. Improv teaches you how to think on your feet and how to react and adapt very quickly to unexpected events and things you may not have planned for

Summing-up: Improv helps to get people to work together, where they’re not afraid to make a suggestions. It creates a positive working environment, where employees know they can provide ideas without fear that they’ll be shot down. Always say “YES, AND…” meaning, always agree, and add something to the discussion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *