Ask yourself: “Yes and…”

“I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.” Mahatma Gandhi

If you have a partner that often attempts to make you feel like you’re wrong – so they can be right – I have something to share with you.

Anyone who needs to constantly be right has a deep insecurity about themselves. They think their value and worth comes from what they know, rather than who they are. And if they pride themselves on being the smartest person in the room, they only feel good about themselves when there’s a hierarchy and they’re on top.

It’s an unnecessary and difficult way to live. But more importantly, this mindset limits their ability to really connect to another human being…

  • If you’re on a pedestal, there’s no room for an equal partner to stand alongside you.
  • When you need to be right, you automatically have to make others wrong.
  • When you think you have to have all the answers, it doesn’t allow you to be curious or learn from someone else. You’ll remain intellectually stagnant, and never grow or learn anything beyond all that you think you know.

One of my clients uses this as a tool in their business; it’s called “Yes and…”

She has some people who readily want to share all the ways something won’t work or why someone else’s idea is crap. But they’re never the ones that offer their ideas.

She created a rule that you’re allowed to disagree, but you have to be able to offer an alternative perspective. They do that by saying, “Yes (I hear what you’re saying), and (I’d like for us to consider this perspective…).”

It’s easy to be the nay-sayer on why the glass is always half empty, why something will never work, and why we should just settle into the idea that things will never change. It’s much more difficult (because it’s more vulnerable) to offer an idea that may not work and isn’t a slam dunk.

The same dynamic can happen in marriages too (how we do one thing is how we do everything, after all).

If your partner is always telling you why your ideas would never work, ask them to use the tool “Yes, and…”: Yes, I hear what you’re saying and have you thought about this other option?

And if you are always stomping on your partner’s ideas, next time they offer an idea…really hear them out, and if you feel like you have something to add, use the “Yes and…” tool.

Yes, I could see how you would be excited about that, and have you ever looked into this…..”

This allows you to not discount your beloved’s idea and still add onto it. It also allows you to really hear what they’re saying, without shutting down and withholding your perspective (which might be quite good).

Ready to evolve your marriage to a new place? Let’s explore if there’s a fit for you and I to work together to see if your marriage can evolve to a place where it feels good again or if the only answer is to lovingly release it.

Ask yourself: “Yes and…”