Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Surge of the "Yes, and" Mantra of Comedians Would Help World Peace

I never was very good at multiple choice questions because I could always see the complexity in the situation about which I was being asked. I eventually “trained” myself to be more deductive and logical, more black and white in order to pass the tests. However, it never seemed natural.

I have since learned that my complexity style can be a blessing and a curse: a blessing to see the world from a 360 view, which can enlarge my view and make me less reactive. A curse if I am trying to be succinct and really targeted in messaging.

So, when Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize out of the blue, I didn’t immediately do the “Yes, but” routine. After all, my complexity lens needed to do some thinking before passing judgment. OK. The world works in mysterious ways. Even Barack Obama was a bit taken aback!

That’s why comedians train themselves to go with the flow of an emerging situation by always saying “Yes, and” rather than “Yes, but”. They literally have to stay present in order to optimize generating the story lines. Their openness creates a richness of conversation and opportunity. The surprise becomes something constructive. Thus, I gather seeing complexity can be an asset in practicing “Yes, and”!

Both the “Yes, and” and the “Yes, but” reactions were in abundance after the Swedes awarded the Nobel to President Obama. This is the nature of our minds and our ways. In this instance, however, the former made us dig a bit deeper to better understand why the Swedes chose Obama.

As the comedian’s “improv” process catalyzes a creative and open path, so too does a world paradigm shift toward peace rather than war. The Swedes have set in action an opportunity for “improv” everywhere in the spirit of finding ways and means to world peace. The discipline of the “Yes, and” is a simple and powerful tool for discovering how to get there.

No comments: