Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The 2 magic words you should be using

So what did you guess the words were? 

If you guessed 'thank you' well, yes good guess and your mum would sure be proud of you.   And I would like you to also consider this..

Yes, and...

There are several reasons why those two words are so powerful in business and in life:

1.  It can help you reach an agreement.

'Yes, and' is a super effective means to slide past a persons resistance.   Imagine that you are close to an agreement when you client suddenly throws out an objection such as....I like your product however I think your price is just too high for us!  What do you say?  

Here are the 2 worst things you can say...

No, I don't agree my price is too high because  ________________.
Yes, but how about _____________________.

Both of those statements build instant resistance from you client.  No one wants to hear 'no' and that word 'but' sends a shiver of resistance up your clients spine.   Not good!

Now what if instead you said....Yes, and... you might want to consider the extras that our product offers such as _______________.

By saying 'Yes' it is a positive confirmation of what your client said.   No resistance there!   And by adding 'and', that is interpreted as a connector, addition or transistion.   Resistance is temporary lowered long enough for you to make your point.

Another variation....

Yes, I like your thinking and that has me thinking  that....(insert your brilliant point here)

That's how you help the other person think that your idea was actually their idea.  Presented like that it is easy for the other person to be open to your suggestion and perhaps change their own thinking.

Simple and effective!

2.   Brainstorming beauty

Brainstorming is like  Improv Comedy.    The first principle is to not reject anything.   To keep the flow of ideas coming.   'Yes, and' is the perfect connector to add to the last idea given.   It forces you to really think cognitively rather than out of habit, since you have to contemplate what comes after the 'yes, and' ____________.    Those two simple words can lead to profound breakthroughs.

I keep wondering what a corporate brainstorming session would produce if you threw in a couple of those great 'Improv Comedy' actors like Drew Carey and Colin Mockery.   I'm betting the ideas would flow like moonshine at a Hillbilly Convention?

Now consider using this technique with your employees and peers?   Imagine one of your peers makes a suggestion that you don't think will work?   Instead of raining on their parade by telling them that their idea is the dumbest idea since Paris Hilton applied to Harvard. 

Try something like this.....Yes I can see your logic and I would like to add....____________.  Remember seeing their logic is not the same thing as agreeing to it.  It does however get interpreted as a form of acceptance and lowers their resistance to your thoughts.

3.  Builds Trust

'Yes' is such a beautiful empowering word.   We are programmed to like and respond to it.   The more we hear it the more we like and trust the person saying it to us.  It puts us into a feeling of comfort which lowers resistance to the message we want to convey after the "yes, and'.

4.  What about 'no'?

No is the simpliest, most direct and definitive response.  Sometimes it is useful and necessary.   The trick is to not let it become a lazy thinking habitual response. 

'No' can be like a bomb thrown into the conversation.   Sometimes it blows up your own team and sometimes it wins a war.   But then who wants to go to war?  It should be your weapon of last resort.  You know like when your kid asks you for that new game player for the umpteenth time?


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