In Improv-speak we say “no stops the flow”.
We can apply this phrase to the flow of information, ideas, the story, and often times the momentum of not just what’s happening on-stage but also in meetings, discussions, or brainstorming sessions at work.
Of course we must cannot say yes to everything, and there are occasional benefits to saying no.
Here are some of the reasons why “no” is often our default response:
- It’s easier
- It’s a habit
- Makes us seem smart
- Pressure to contribute
- helps us avoid risks
- trained to find the problem
- Want to play devil’s advocate
The good news is we can train our brains to be more open and positive and judgement-free, as long as our environment supports this way of thinking. Shifting away from a “no” mindset allows for freedom of expression, innovation, creativity, team building, support, trust, and a workplace where employees feel encouraged to contribute.
See if you can assess your own habits and tendencies for the rest of the day. I’d love to hear what you found!