1 min read

Will Yes/No Thinking Be the End of Collaboration?

If we want to move in the direction of thoughtfulness and respectful discord, we need to work on eliminating Yes/No, and instead, start looking at the underlying intention—the deeper meaning and nuances.

30-second read

Strong opinions—and subsequent blind spots—are commonly formed from Yes/No thinking.

I agree or disagree.

I’m right and you’re wrong.

This is my worldview and yours doesn’t matter.

Worse yet — If you don’t adopt my worldview, then you’re my enemy.

If we want to move in the direction of thoughtfulness and respectful discord, we need to work on eliminating Yes/No, and instead, start looking at the underlying intention—the deeper meaning and nuances.

This takes:

  1. A hell of a lot of self-awareness. (Something I'm doubtful that our current media—social and traditional—has built into it).
  2. The ability to ask ourselves and others legitimately thoughtful questions—especially around the most topical issues of today.

Yep, hard shit.

That's why strong opinions, hot takes, trite agreeableness, posturing, and attacking populate our feeds.

It's just easier (aka lazy).

The result: Trust is at an all-time low.

Just think about it. That’s all I’m asking.


This mindset influences how we show up in the world, touching everything from how we design our company cultures and brand ourselves as employers, products, and people, to how we engage with our family, friends, coworkers, and communities—online and off.

If we want to breed trust and connection, then we have to allow for it. And that starts by removing Yes/No from (many of) our conversations.

That’s how we inspire people of all stripes to work together.

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