Friday, January 25, 2013

the power of YES

The one word you should avoid when working in an arts organization is "no."  There's no touchy-feely altruistic reason for this.  The reason is very practical.  When your staff hears the word "no," there becomes a reluctance to share new ideas.  This is an easy trap to fall into - especially when you're in a creative setting with lots of opinions and people who see things very differently.  Or, when you think you are smarter than everyone else (Note - no one is smarter than everyone else.  We all bring different skills to the table).  A great suggestion from my colleague Helen is to say "yes, and..."  Even if you think an idea should be modified, scrapped, ignored, whatever - do your part to keep creative juices flowing by saying something like "yes, and this is how that could apply to our organization if we changed x y and z.  The key here is to avoid shooting down creativity...keep it going and see what happens.

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