I am a 40 year-old small business entrepreneur, a female marriage & family therapist operating a private practice in two different locations; I am trying to devote time to my practice(s), my partner, my family and my friends as well as myself in the form of exercise and self-care. How I measure success will most likely be different from how you measure success, especially if you are not in the same boat – so to speak.
Although we may differ on how we view success for ourselves or others, one thing that I believe greatly influences our success (or lack thereof) comes in the form of two small and powerful words: yes, but. How many times has a friend, acquaintance or colleague come to you complaining about something? It could be a work project that has ground to a standstill, a relationship issue that has him or her stressed out, or a minor scheduling conflict. They ask you what they should do to resolve the problem and you offer up an idea. Then you hear them say, “Yes, but…” and they proceed to tell you exactly why that won’t work. You offer up solution #2. Surely this will lead to success for your buddy. Again the retort is a resounding, “Yes, but…” with additional reasons why your idea just isn’t going to fit the bill.
And we ALL DO IT. On the surface, “yes, butting” is a way of complaining and hoping those to whom we complain will commiserate or sympathize with us. I believe it’s more detrimental to our success than we realize, however. “Yes, but” sets up an atmosphere of negativity. When we are thinking of or talking about all the reasons why we or why some solution won’t succeed, we aren’t really looking for ways TO succeed. Our colleagues, associates or even friends distance themselves from us because they get drained by our “yes butting;” and we, too, distance ourselves from those who do the same. So, how do we remove this road block on our path toward success?
1) When you hear a “yes, but” to your suggestion: Stop suggesting. Ask a question (What have you tried already?). Make an empathic statement (That IS frustrating.) And then, leave it at that unless that person specifically solicits your advice. If they do, couch your response in what YOU would do not what they SHOULD do. (I can write a whole other blog on that word alone).
2) Stop using “yes,but.” If you need to complain, do it legitimately. If you don’t want someone’s advice but they give it anyway, smile and say, “Hmm, I’ll give that some thought, thanks.” This will usually prevent them from offering further advice more so than if you used the “yes, but.”
Reducing the “yes,but” reduces negativity. Reducing negativity opens minds and hearts for solutions that lead toward success… whether that’s in business or in relationships.
Email AnnaMarie at email@example.com or call 253.651.3377.