The “Yes, And” Technique

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As you can probably see I was exhausted when I shot this video. I really wanted to put out a quality video filled with excitement. I just didn’t have it in me. I showed it to my wife and she suggested that I reshoot it. I agreed until I slept on it.

We all have exhausting days and we can’t reshoot our work day, so I decided to publish the video. I was easily frustrated, but I still had fun shooting it. I actually growled at myself because I kept forgetting to look directly into the camera. I laughed at myself. That’s what working happy is all about: seeing the joy even when we are having a tough time.

Superstar Christian Bale was recently recorded berating a person on set. He lost his cool for like 10 minutes. I felt so bad for the guy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I would link to it, but I don’t want to waste your time. He could have just laughed it off, but he couldn’t find that little spot within himself to be able to laugh. He went straight for anger.

You will be tired, grumpy and exhausted in the near future, but instead of giving in to those upsetting feelings try to find that little spot inside yourself that can laugh or smile at your reaction. It will make the situation easier to handle and more comfortable for the people around you.

The reason I shot this video is because we all need to find a way to roll with our emotions and the people we work with, instead of wanting everything to be a certain way. We don’t need to be accepted. We need to be doing the accepting. Everything else will fall into place.


One of my all time favorite blogs…Michael Martine of Remarkablogger always hooks me up with brilliant ideas to improve this blog.


Do you want to start your own Work Happiness Project? Then stay tuned because I am putting together a great series of posts.


If you liked this video then check these out:

8 thoughts on “The “Yes, And” Technique”

  1. Stephen - Rat Race Trap

    Karl, this “Yes and” technique is a really great idea. I also liked your written post and the “laugh it off technique”. I’ve actually been doing that lately when I get angry but actually laughing out loud. It works great, Thanks!

  2. Great point on the “Yes and Technique.”

    A little humor goes a long way. A lot of people disarm hostile situations with a flick of a smile or a witty response (of course those sometimes backfire) … and that’s a better default I think than anger. It helps you keep your wits about you.

    I like the fact you published the video and didn’t get hung up on perfection … the perfect is the enemy of the good.

  3. Yes, that’s a good technique and it is very powerful for giving feedback. It’s the difference between:

    I like working with you but I’d really appreciate it if you would contribute more.

    I like working with you and I’d really appreciate it if you would contribute more.

    … Build from the positive don’t undue it.

    Interesting post – I didn’t know it was an improv technique!

  4. While the vid may not have had the excitement you were “shooting” for, it does not negate the fact that you still did a rather good job on getting the point across.

    I found the vid rather informational and appealing. I learned a “technique” that I had not know before.

    Very sound job. As a first time visitor, you captured me. I plan on being back!

  5. Hi Stephen, laughter can improve almost any emotional blockage. We just have to remember to use it when we need it the most.

    Hi Michael, I am on a mission and I’m glad you were able to top by.

    Hi J.D., I thought about deleting the video, but like you said perfection is the enemy of the good.

    Hi HR, the difference between an “and” and a “but” is huge.

    Hi Bunk, Glad to have you on board. We would love to have you stop back for a visit anytime you need a little work happiness in your life.

  6. Karl–great post and definitely an important concept to remember. I write a lot about the values of humor at work and also how tips and philosophies from stand-up and improv can lead to great productivity at work.

    Keep preaching the improv = )

  7. Great post.

    I particularly like “We don’t need to be accepted. We need to be doing the accepting. Everything else will fall into place.”

    By accepting others how they are we get accepted the way we are – it’s Karma.

    Thanks for your ideas.

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