The improv philosophy is one of accepting what's offered to you and building on it. In improv, it means whatever is said or offered by another player is the new reality. Knowing that whatever is said or done will be met with acceptance is the liberating feature that allows people to take chances, stretch their thinking, and be in the moment. "Yes, and" is not so much about agreeing, but rather acknowledging and accepting what is offered and moving things forward. This game helps build trust, confidence, collaboration and a positive environment. Imagine using "Yes, and" in a planning meeting. Oh, the possibilities. Try using "yes, and" in response to student comments in classroom discussions or colleague contributions in meetings. This affirming response encourages them flesh out and expand their ideas.
How to play
- One player makes a statement. Every subsequent statement begins with an enthusiastic "Yes, and" . The starting statement doesn't have to be library related, but it can be. This game can be played among partners, or among larger groups. In groups, players can take turns sequentially, or they can stand in a circle and make eye contact with another person in the circle indicating that that person will go next, or people can call out responses randomly. For extra energy, have the entire group chime in on the "Yes, ands"
1st player: There's a pingpong table in the library
Group: YES,AND...2nd player: it's so popular we have lines of people waiting to playGroup: YES,AND...3rd player: we decided to spend our entire book budget on pingpong ballsGroup: YES,AND...4th player: the room where we store all the balls has become a ball pit
5th player: we started charging admission to this room Group: YES,AND...6th player: it's solved our budget crisis.
You could pair this exercise with a similar "Yes, but" exercise to compare what happens and how it makes people feel.