Many years ago, I performed and toured with an improv group. I was young, and when asked if I would like to join them on the road, I quickly said, “Yes, and I can even pitch in for gas.”
This was a good practice for improvisation, too, which incorporates what’s called the “acceptance principle.” When another performer offers you something in a scene, no matter how ludicrous, a recommended next step is to accept it…and to see what can happen next if you both stay open to possibility. This is called saying, “yes, and” to the situation.
Saying, “yes, and” has been preached in business for years (it even has a Wikipedia page to describe the concept) because it’s recognized as “a principle that improves the effectiveness of brainstorming process, fosters effective communication, and encourages the free sharing of ideas.”
It’s also a concept in parenting; your child asks for an ice cream sandwich and the parent or caregiver replies with, “Yes, and ice cream would taste great after lunch and after the Legos have been picked up.” Kids hear “no” so often, that hearing “yes, and” is a happy change, even if it involves some delayed gratification.
When I think how this applies to beauty professionals, I see you saying, “yes, and” all the time. Consider the consultation, for example…
Stylist: “It’s great to see you again. What are you thinking for this visit?”
Client: “I want a fringe and I want to be platinum for spring—what do you think?”
Stylist: “Yes, and I can see how layers around your face would be really flattering, along with taking your color lighter—that would be a pretty update.”
Client: “So, you think I could get to a light blonde?”
Stylist: “Yes, and I have some ideas of what that could look like and how we can get there together, while keeping your hair healthy. It requires some steps so let me tell you what that would look like... ”
Without shutting down the dream of a one-visit platinum, the stylist still says, “yes” and then –as the expert in this scenario—takes the client to the next step, to the “and,” by explaining that before you get vanilla ice cream, you might be living with a little buttercream for a bit.
On page 32 of this issue, you’ll see a sneak peek of our Los Angeles Artist Session Creator Series, an event with amazing artists who all said, “yes, and…I can’t wait!” when we invited them to attend.
The bridal stylists profiled in our feature starting on page 38 (“Married to Weddings”) have no fear of commitment; they are whole-heartedly embracing their specialty. They have fulfilling, creative careers because folks are saying, “yes, and…let’s set a date!” all-year round.
If you want to share a time you said, “yes, and” to an opportunity, we would love to hear about it. Extra points if there are pictures!
Until then, Happy Spring!
Director, Brand Content Strategy