Yes, and...

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"Yes, and...", also referred to as "Yes, and..." thinking, is a rule-of-thumb in improvisational comedy that suggests that an improviser should accept what another improviser has stated ("yes") and then expand on that line of thinking ("and").[1][2][3] The improvisers' characters may still disagree.[1] It is also used in business and other organizations as a principle that improves the effectiveness of the brainstorming process, fosters effective communication, and encourages the free sharing of ideas.[4]


The "Yes" portion of the rule encourages the acceptance of the contributions added by others. Participants in an improvisation are encouraged to agree to a proposition, fostering a sense of cooperation[2] rather than shutting down the suggestion and effectively ending the line of communication.

In an organizational setting, saying "Yes" in theory encourages people to listen and be receptive to the ideas of others. Rather than immediately judging the idea, as judgment has its place later on in the development process, one should initially accept the idea, which enables the discussion to expand on the idea without limitations.[4] The next step in the process is to add new information into the narrative. The concept of "and" is to sway away from directly changing the suggested material, "and" rather building upon it.[2] Additionally, and often overlooked, the "And" encourages self-awareness, confidence, and expressive skills which are necessary for setting limits, asking for help, giving feedback, delegating and even the ability to say "No".[5]


  1. ^ a b NathanMinns (2022-10-30). "What does "Yes, And..." In Improv Really Mean?". Green Light Improv. Retrieved 2022-10-30.
  2. ^ a b c "Rules of comedy improv and acting". Pan Theater. Retrieved 2014-02-05.
  3. ^ "What I Learned From the First Rule of Improv - Yes, And". Retrieved 2014-02-05.
  4. ^ a b Kulhan, Bob (2013-04-10). "Why 'Yes, and...' Might Be the Most Valuable Phrase in Business". Big Think. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  5. ^