What can you do this week to plus a situation and amplify someone’s position?
Seasoned Improv players understand and regularly use the “Yes, And” strategy. “Yes, And” moves a scene and its players along. “Yes, But” is a scene killer. Transformational leaders and creative collaborators understand and use some form of “Yes, And.” Consider the following:
- Walt Disney called it “plussing” whereby he/his people would constantly add more value to the product or service they provided for their customer.
- In The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter, Ian O’Connor relates the story of a Yankee coach saying that Derek Jeter always “pluses the experience.” Whether playing on the filed, stopping to talk with little kids, or improving his physical conditioning, Jeter looked for ways to add positively to the situation at hand.
- In medicine, plussing refers to “reducing the negative consequences and augmenting the potency of a given remedy.”
- Randy Nelson of Pixar (2010) said that his teams moved beyond collaboration to “amplification.” The collaboration that matters is the collaboration that keeps us from getting in the way of one another. And it goes beyond just cooperating. We have to bring our separate skills and creativity to a situation. The resource remains in listening to one another—not manipulating or cowing or intimidating one another.
Video recommendation of the week.
Listen to what amplification means for Pixar.
One writer describes the Pixar transformative process thusly: “Rather than randomly critique a sketch or shoot down an idea, the general rule is that you may only criticize an idea if you also add a constructive suggestion. Hence the name plussing.”
You can only criticize if you add. You have to be constructive—not demeaning, dismissive and/or disdainful.
Think of your favorite band. Don’t they “plus” for you?
Your coach, your mentor, your favorite teacher. Chances are they all “plussed” for you.
The handyman you hire time and again? A “plusser”!
The colleague who constantly helps to amplify your ideas by “plussing”—not denigrating. She looks at what you present and then adds, “Yes, what if….”
And, chances are somebody thinks of you as one who amplifies rather than muffles. Keep it up. The world needs more of you desperately.
Yes, we have all been with the “non-plussing” people. Those that find fault with most anything we bring to the table. They don’t (at all) add to our suggestions. They tear them down. They serve as resident energy vampires. The “non-plussers” of life. Theirs is a miserable existence on many levels.
What can you do this week to “plus” a situation; to “amplify” a colleague’s proposal—even if it falls short of the mark; to truly listen and say “Yes, And”…”What if we”… “Let’s authentically build on what you brought to the table”?
Make it an inspiring week as you pursue your authentic “hell, yeah!” goals.—H.T.R.B. as needed.
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My books Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition) are published by Pearson Education.
(c) 2016. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.
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