Words Matter: My 2 Go-To Expressions For Better Days, Teams, And Projects

These two sentence modifiers tell me when I’m working collaboratively with good people and when I’m doing good work on myself (as well as when I’m not). I look for them all of the time. 

Good, collaborative people: “yes, and…” more than “no, but…”

Ex. “yes, and…” is about agreeing and then building further. “No, but…” is about stopping and redirecting. Both are going to happen, but the balance should skew to the former not the latter. There’s a reason this comes from improv comedy, it sure can make you feel good. 

Good personal work: “…yet” more than “…argh.” 

Ex. “We haven’t broken 7 figures with sales for this offering… argh,” isn’t productive. It’s a measurement looking down on you. “We haven’t broken 7 figures with sales for this offering…yet,” is a way to make sure your goal knows it’s being hunted by a never-lose predator. 

The language we use matters. Tracking and implementing the right words is as important as any other key performance indicator.