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Just say yes

Today’s guest post is from Uplifted content creator Becky Bowman.

I read recently about a strategy a fellow mom is using as she’s stuck at home with her kid: She’s saying yes.

Yes to playing in the bathtub, for instance. Yes to building a fort.

So I decided to try it myself, with my 2-year-old. As much as possible, I’m trying to say yes.

Can you come with me? Yes.

Can you sit over here and FaceTime with me to Dadi and Baba? Yes.

Can you play “Trevor the Tractor” on the speaker? (For the 6,748th time today?) Yes.

The crazy thing is, it seems to help. Even if I only sit down to chat with my in-laws on the iPad for 30 seconds, or if I walk into another room as soon as I turn on that favorite (repeated) song.

We all hate to hear “no.” It wrecks the vibe. In improv comedy, answering “no” to a question stops a skit in its tracks.

Now is the time for “yes.”

Think through the questions you’re getting asked right now: Is it OK if a working parent on your team works a split shift, so that he can share child-minding duties with his partner? Can you finish hiring for that open slot on your team, even if you can’t meet candidates in person? Can you hash out your team’s new mission, even if your reports are staring at you from tiny video thumbnails instead of being gathered around a table?

Yes, yes, and yes. Here’s my suggestion: Try saying yes first. Create an impromptu plan. If it fails, try again. But even if you eventually say no, at least you’ll have given it a shot first.

We’re in a new working world now, and we’ll make progress in it by saying yes.


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