Erica Marx

Yes, and Picnic

by for .  

4 conversations about how to listen, acknowledge, and build



awareness of default conversation patterns,
block vs. accept
no vs. yes, but
yes, and w/ and w/out connection

appreciate impact of listening and co-creation



    Participants will be in pairs and have 4 short conversations planning an imaginary event together. To start, each pair chooses an event to plan (birthday party, road trip, etc.). 

    1. No...
    2. Yes, but...  
    3. Yes, and... (back & forth)
    4. Yes, what I like about that is ... and ... (back and forth)

    For each conversation, one person enthusiastically wants to do the activity, the others respond as instructed. Demo each conversation separately encouraging participants to forget the previous conversation. 

    For conversations 1 and 2, switch roles for conversations so each person has the experience of what it is to repeated encounter a "No" and a "Yes, but" response. This will help them see the impact of these responses in isolation, as well as reveal the other person's default response to encountering this type of response. For conversations 3 & 4 both people play the same role and go back and forth.

    The last conversation really gets to the heart of "yes, and" because you're actively putting energy into finding what you like about the other person's idea. Variations for use in normal conversation are phrases like 
    Yes, what I appreciate about that... 
    Yes, what I think is important about that is ...
    Yes, what's especially valuable about what you're pointing out...
    Yes, what excites me about that is...

    Facilitator Notes

    This activity works well in-person and online. 

    You can do this activity in 3's by assigning 2 people to the response role. You can also do variations of this in a circle. 

    This activity works well for a topic where both people have a reason to be doing something together. 


    This activity is a variation on the classic improv principle of "Yes, and." I learned this specific series of prompts from members of The Applied Improvisation Network. 

    Curious about what we do?

    Erica Marx Coaching​

    Online Events Production & Facilitation
    Bringing the magic of in-person events to the virtual space and building real relationships. Everything from design to technical production, we'll make it fun and take away the stress!

    Erica Marx

    + 1 (607) 269-7401

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