From One SA Pro to Another: The “Yes, and…” Approach

Have you ever had a student who threw you off your game?

When working with a diverse population of students, you may not always see eye-to-eye with them when it comes to their approach life, school, and work. You might find yourself using this phrase in coaching:

“yes, but…”

In the practice of improv, “yes, but…” is called blocking. It stops the conversation. Not what you want, when you’re in a student support role. Try saying this the next time you find yourself thrown off:

“yes, and…”

This simple phrase puts you in a position to collaborate with a student. Using this concept opens you up to better understand and connect with students, and puts you back into a coaching mindset, instead of an advisor mindset.

Why else should you use improv techniques in your student support? Improvising requires you to be present and in the moment. Instead of planning what to say next, try to build on what the student already has to work with, as capable and whole humans.

Want to learn more about the impact of improv? Consider these resources:

Improv helps student support pros model collaboration and communication. The “yes, and…” approach is also for focusing on opportunities and moving things forward.

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