01 Aug


"Let's move from 'Yeah, but,' to 'And how." 

Melissa Laun, author of the Charcuterie Quote Board 

THE MEAT (The Main Idea)

The crux of this quote lies in the fundamental difference between these two thought systems. The "Yeah, but" approach tends to emphasize limitations and barriers, leading to a pessimistic outlook and missed opportunities. It can discourage creativity and innovation, as ideas are quickly shot down before they have a chance to flourish. This mindset might be suitable in certain situations, providing a cautious and critical evaluation of ideas to avoid potential pitfalls. 

On the other hand, the "And, How" approach adopts a more optimistic and open-minded perspective. Focusing on potential solutions and opportunities encourages exploration and problem-solving. This type of thinking is crucial in creating a positive and innovative environment, where ideas are nurtured, and challenges are seen as stepping stones rather than roadblocks. Upon initial observation, the "Yeah, but" approach seems limiting, while the "And, How" approach appears more open-minded and solution-focused. But, as we dive deeper into this quote, let's unveil a fun twist that will shed light on the dynamic interplay between these thought systems.

THE CHEESE (Added Depth) 

Imagine you're at a meeting, gathered to help a colleague facing a challenge, and the room is brimming with supportive energy. Colleagues offer potential solutions with empathetic tones like, "Have you considered..." or "What I like to do is..." However, the moment the advice reaches the person with the presenting problem, it's met with a dismissive "Yeah, but..." and a list of reasons why the offered consideration won't work. Does this sound familiar? A couple of rounds of this pattern and something shifts in the room. The willingness to offer solutions dwindles as it becomes apparent that no idea will be genuinely considered or attempted. 

Now, let's pause and reimagine how the conversation could unfold differently – one where the person is open to feedback and genuinely desires collaborative problem-solving. In this alternate scenario, responses sound more like, "No, I haven't tried that. Thank you." Or, "Hum, that's interesting. Can you tell me more about...?" An atmosphere of openness emerges, and the sparks of conversation ignite creativity and innovation. 

This simple anecdote captures the essence of the "Let's move from 'Yeah, but,' to 'And how" thought systems. The way we respond to feedback and suggestions can significantly impact the flow of ideas and problem-solving. Embracing the "And, How" approach, where we listen as adaptable learners, open up to experimentation of ideas, and show we value feedback creates a culture of creativity and empowers us to tackle challenges with optimism. As you read on, take a moment to reflect on your own experiences. Which response do you find yourself leaning towards, and how does it influence the outcomes in your interactions?

THE OLIVES (A Surprising Element)

In the world of CliftonStrengths, individuals with different strengths bring unique thinking styles and ways they show up in this world to the table. Some are high in restorative, strategic, input, or analytical strengths, and they naturally identify problems and highlight their existence. Their process involves verbalizing these issues, viewing them as neutral circumstances or facts. On the other hand, individuals high in positivity, adaptability, WOO, or ideation prefer to jump right to the solutions and see little value in pointing out the problems. 

One might assume that the "Yeah, but" thinking is negative, while the "And, how" thinking is positive. However, this isn't the case. Each style has positive intentions – the restorative thinkers ensure thorough problem identification, while the adaptability thinkers embrace possibilities and choices in the present, seeing the future as flexible. To harness the strengths of both groups of thinkers and allow everyone a voice without draining others, we must recognize and respect their diverse needs. 

Protocols can play a crucial role in this process. For example, summarizing each person's comment before adding to the discussion can acknowledge and actively listen to their input. Implementing protocols might initially feel stifling, but with repetition, they can become enormously productive. A useful approach involves setting aside 5 minutes to collectively identify issues (Yeah but), followed by a separate 5 minutes for brainstorming solutions (And how). By using this method, both groups of thinkers feel heard and valued, without skipping any vital steps. In practice, the interplay of these different thinking styles can lead to comprehensive problem-solving and better outcomes. Embracing the unique strengths of each individual enhances the collaborative environment and creates a culture where "Yeah, but" evolves into "And how," creating an atmosphere of constructive cooperation and shared growth. 

So let's examine the blog quote one more time; "Let's move from 'Yeah, but,' to 'And how." We've broken down the Yeah, but and the And how, but ignored the "Let's move from." This simple yet powerful phrase encompasses a transformative journey. It's not merely about abandoning one thought system for another, but rather embracing a dynamic shift – a movement from one place and ending up in another. So, start with the identification and recognition of the issues, but don't dwell or stop there; move into, or end with problem-solving. Honor each other's natural ways of thinking, acting, and behaving to generate the best ideas.

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