Finding Your “Yes, And” People

Silly looking pug dog with nerd glasses as an office business worker with pencil in mouth

Image credit: damedeeso

Have you ever hesitated to say something because you thought people might look at you like you had a carrot growing out of your forehead? I have. But then I saw a video recently that made me think…

(Okay, I’ll admit it, it was on TikTok, which I do enjoy and probably spend a bit more time on than I should. I also post videos there from time to time. You can follow me on TikTok by clicking here.)

The video started with a woman saying, “Say the weird thing. People are desperately seeking realness.”

She explained that when you’re talking with people about “normal things” (like home decor or a minivan roof rack) and an idea pops into your head but you hesitate to say it because it’s weird, that is the very thing you should say. Then she said something that really caught my attention:

“That is how you find your ‘yes, and’ people. He who can continue the joke can continue the relationship with me.”


So many of us spend our energy trying to not look weird that we hide ourselves from the very people we want to connect with.

This is so true for me. I am a high-energy, outgoing person when keynote speaking or performing improv. In smaller groups and one-on-one environments though, I am much more shy and introverted. Because of that, I tend to avoid “saying the weird thing.”

Yet on the rare occasions when I've done so, it has worked out much the way the video said it would. For example, one time I was at a conference doing both the opening and closing keynote, and the first evening I was chatting with someone about travel and something came up in the conversation where I wanted to mention that I like fantasy novels. 

The little “yes, but” voice in my head - the one that’s been there since high school - spoke up and said, “yes, but you don’t want them to think you’re a weird nerd!”

Fortunately in that moment I was able to “yes, and” myself and ignore that annoying little voice.

I said, “I’m kind of a nerd, so for me traveling gives me a chunk of uninterrupted time to read fantasy novels.”

You know what he said?

“Wow, I love fantasy novels too.”

This led to us talking the entire rest of the conference and allowed me to actually enjoy networking (which I normally hate). He may even book me to speak one day soon!

All that from me simply “saying the weird thing.”

How about you? Do you say the weird thing to find your “yes, and people” or are you letting the “yes, buts” in your head prevent you from connecting?

This idea is a powerful communication tool for leadership, teamwork, and even sales. I have updated the training page on my website. If you would like to give your team, department, or organization the tools and skills of “Yes, And,” check it out now!

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