“No” v. “Yes And…”

Seth Godin wrote a post about What “no” means. To quote him:

  • “I’m too busy
  • I don’t trust you
  • This isn’t on my list
  • My boss won’t let me
  • I’m afraid of moving this forward
  • I’m not the person you think I am
  • I don’t have the resources you think I do
  • I’m not the kind of person that does things like this
  • I don’t want to open the door to a long-term engagement
  • Thinking about this will cause me to think about other things I just don’t want to deal with

What it doesn’t mean:

  • I see the world the way you do, I’ve carefully considered every element of this proposal and understand it as well as you do and I hate it and I hate you.”

Imagine what could happen if we eliminate “no” and instead replace it with “yes and…” [“Now is not the best time for X but we could explore Y further”; “I won’t be able to do A, but I could do B or C.”] Rather than crushing an idea and sending a negative message, it creates potential as it allows the opportunity for further thought and clarification.