Tag Archives: collaboration

“Yes” Moves the Conversation Forward

"Start with Yes, and see where that takes you." ~Tina Fey

Today’s post was written by Brett Slater, Chief Social Media Officer at The Latimer Group.

Improvisation fascinates me. A recent passion of mine has been improv comedy, and I’m a huge fan of jazz and jam bands, both of which lean very heavily on improvisation as a tool.

Part of my fascination with the improv concept stems from the wonder and magic that can happen when a free flow of ideas occurs among players. When people truly collaborate, any suggestion is viable, and any outcome becomes possible.

In order for that magic to happen — whether onstage, in a comedy scene, or even in the workplace – one thing has to happen first: Acceptance. A suggestion, idea, or scene choice must be agreed upon by the other players… The cardinal rule of improv is that no denials are allowed. “Yes and” is how each player is to approach any given scene. As soon as you deny a reality presented by your scene partner, the scene stops. “Yes and” moves you forward, whereas a “no” hinders momentum.

Similarly, when collaborating in the workplace, decide to accept others’ ideas first, even if later on it turns into a denial. But start with “yes.” Get the conversation going, and moving forward. Do your best to listen to your client, customer, or colleague. Try to find the “yeses” in your communication with others – seek common ground and affirmation. Even a polite rejection of an idea can mean that person may choose NOT to contribute next time, and that’s a lousy place for collaboration to flourish.

How would your communication change if you knew ahead of time that your answer would always start with “Yes?”

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To Change the Minds of Others, Change This About Yourself

Some of our most popular blog posts lately have been about how we communicate with each other, and the divide that’s so often formed when we’re faced with an opinion or viewpoint different from our own. And while there are plenty of examples we’ve written about from our President on this subject, it’s certainly not limited to… Continue Reading

3 Simple Changes to Give Your Meetings Fresh Perspective

Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. This week our team sat around a conference table with a consultant and after half an hour, he looked at us and said, “Maybe we should pause this discussion.” It was an unusual situation; typically we’re brought in as consultants and… Continue Reading

Leadership Tips: When to Debate, When to Dictate

I’m working with an executive right now who has an interesting and engaging leadership style. He likes to collaborate, he likes dialogue, he wants to hear what people have to say. He allows lots of input, and seems to detest strict hierarchy. I like this style, actually, because it is similar to my own. But… Continue Reading

The Sad Truth of “Post-Truth”

Last week I had a conversation with a long-time friend and business partner, Mary Ann. And she shared with me that the Oxford Dictionaries has selected “post-truth” as 2016’s international word of the year, after the contentious Brexit referendum and an equally divisive US presidential election caused usage of the adjective to skyrocket, according to… Continue Reading

Election Commentary: Our Most Toxic Issue

My colleagues and I have a long-standing policy with this blog… no politics. We have clients and friends who sit on both sides of the political divide, and this blog is about business, not politics. Given the current state of US politics, it is almost impossible to address issues without offending SOMEONE. But our business… Continue Reading

The Caveat of Building Consensus

At The Latimer Group, we’ve been talking lately about the difference between Persuasion and Consensus. The question came up in our discussions among our colleagues and clients about whether Consensus is always necessarily a good thing. We wrote recently that it is — that we can persuade our coworkers toward a certain outcome, but if… Continue Reading

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