Tag Archives: teamwork

“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?”

At The Latimer Group, our individual Coaching services are highly customized and designed to help you achieve your specific goals. Typical engagements focus on developing skill sets in Leadership Communications, Public Speaking, and Executive-Level Business Presentations. To learn more, e-mail us at info@TheLatimerGroup.com
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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

Millennials: Need Management Approval? Have These 8 Answers Ready!

In our communication workshops, we work with clients from many countries, across several continents, and of course, in varying age groups, from just-out-of-college Millennials to Gen X’ers to late Baby-Boomers. In our work with these individuals, we often find a disconnect between how the generations speak to each other. These differences across the generations exist… Continue Reading

Parenting, Professionalism, Principles, and Personal Accountability

(Note: This post was originally published in June of 2016, but as many people are setting new goals for a new year, we thought it was worth revisiting. Enjoy!) My wife and I were recently organizing a box of keepsakes we have been collecting over the last few years. Birth announcements, first report cards, self… Continue Reading

The Most Important Ability You Need in the Workplace

(This post written by Brett Slater, Chief Social Media Officer at The Latimer Group) I got an amazing text from Dean yesterday while he was in a break at one of The Latimer Group’s workshops: “The most important ability in the workplace is account-ability…”  Whoa. Mind::blown. That phrase popped up spontaneously in that workshop, and we… Continue Reading

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