Finding the right words is a vital skill for productive collaboration.
A considered and thoughtful response to an idea or suggestion keeps it in play.
A bit like when I hit the ball on the full in the middle of a great rally at tennis last week.
This rally had everything. Deep base line shots, cross-court forehands, volleys, lobs and the most magical – the backhand down the tramline. We kept hitting the ball back and had no idea what the next shot might be. It was exhilarating.
Now I’m not saying that we should smash an idea around like a tennis ball, but a considered response can keep it in play. It can be built on and could ‘fly’.
An idea bravely expressed could be lost forever with an ill-considered, default response. It can also make things feel ‘unsafe’ and people keep their ideas to themselves or worse, disengage.
‘Yes and’ instead of ‘yes but’ is a favourite. Here’s a few more examples we can consider, practise and build on to improve communication when we collaborate.
And, just to keep the rally going, here’s a few more. How would you re-frame them? Share in ‘comments’ below.