Latest Posts

I’m trying to get rid of my but

Newsletter Image 9-12-23

Click Here To Listen To This Post


No, this isn’t some sort of new physical exercise regime I am implementing (Although, I have been enjoying my Xtreme Hip Hop class!) This is a language adjustment. I noticed recently that I had created a habit of not using the “Yes And” framework for ideation and have been using “but” instead.

The “Yes And” framework is from the world of improvisation. When someone throws out an idea, you add on to it in order to keep the momentum of the scene going and keep the ideas smoothly flowing. For instance, if someone says, “Oh, I love this pasta!” You would say, “Yes! And the seasonings in the sauce are perfect now that we strained out the bird feathers.”

This “Yes And” framework is also perfect for ideating in a group because you want to encourage thought and further ideation, even if you don’t agree with some of the initial ideas flowing out. This also helps to warm up the brainstorming muscles. We agreed that the pasta was good and added bird feathers to the story, which gives the next human something to react to.

Ideation is just getting into the creative mindset, where there are no rules, it’s a no judgment space, and everyone contributes their unique perspective. It’s not time to judge good versus bad or curate the ideas into actionable items. It’s time to dream without boundaries!

So, what does the opposite of “Yes And” look like?

Imagine your team in brainstorm mode, and you, as a boss, deeply understand what would and wouldn’t work with your customer base and budget. Someone throws this idea out: “Let’s send all of our customers custom nail decals!”

Internally, you process:
How is this going to help our customers achieve their goals?
What is the cost associated with creating these?
Who is going to organize the shipping?
This is a one time use product so it won’t stay around and remind them of us.

Because you process the entire flow so fast, you end up saying, “Nail decals are nice, but I think we need to think of something that could stay around longer term.”

Now, you may not see anything wrong with that response since you are saying something positive about the idea and trying to lead the team to a different solution. However, changing one word in this sentence changes the entire way a team member feels about throwing out another idea.

“Nail decals are nice and let’s also continue to think of something that could stay around long term.”

See, the “but” in the sentence negates anything nice the “and” adds on to the idea, encouraging the next one.

This small adjustment in language supports ideation instead of negating the idea or potentially shutting down the brainstorm flow.

Getting rid of the “but”s and leaning into the “and”s to foster that rich environment where everyone feels included into the conversation is key.

So let’s go on a regime together to get rid of our “but”s and make room for the “and”s


Much Love,

Misty Megia
Hi, I'm Misty Megia!

I’m a Creative Director for high-achieving leaders who want to unmute themselves to give presentations that move people profoundly through my Corporate Speaking Program and my Theatre of Public Speaking Program.

Leave a Comment

Discover the

10 mistakes
even seasoned presenters make!

10 Mistakes Even Seasoned Presenters Make shown on iPad with smaller text saying Free!

With Me

Corporate Speaking Program

Your team’s success depends on their ability to speak with clarity. Give them the tools to meet the moment with professionalism.

Theatre of Public Speaking Program

Take my 6-week on-demand course with live group coaching to deliver big messages that motivate and inspire.