3 Easy Ways to Create a Culture of Saying Yes


Video: Saying yes massively improves customer and employee experience.


Welcome to the #shiftyestribe! Every Tuesday, Galen Emanuele emails tools to advance leadership skills, team culture, and personal growth. Relevant, authentic, no spam. Sign up now to get it in your inbox.

The dividends created when organizations establish a culture of ‘saying yes’ are gigantic. When applied to customer experience, the payout comes in the form of brand loyalty and social currency. And when companies and teams adopt the intention of saying yes to their people and each other, the impact on employee experience drives engagement, loyalty, innovation, and discretionary effort through the roof.

Simply put, it feels great to be told yes. And while we obviously can’t say yes to everything in business, the impact on your bottom line through loyal, happy customers and increased team performance makes looking for every way possible to say yes an extremely worthwhile endeavor. Here are three fantastic ways for you and your team to put ‘saying yes’ into practice:

1. Be willing to challenge your initial reaction.

Remember that your way is not the only way. Avoid saying no to something you could easily find a way to say yes to with a little effort or creativity. Practice taking yourself out of the equation for a moment and viewing things from an outside perspective, free of your own judgements or opinion. Ask “What’s possible here?” You’ll be surprised how many times you can find a simple ‘yes’ when you just look for it.

2. Tell me more about that.

When you hear an idea that doesn’t seem feasible or that you don’t like, practice diving a little deeper before firing back with your opinion or making a fast decision. This means postponing having an opinion for a moment to get more information and a deeper understanding of where the other person is coming from. Ask to understand, and listen. Create a situation where you can learn something new, and see solutions you would have otherwise overlooked. Literally say these words: “Tell me more about that.”

3. Is there another version of yes here?

Maybe the idea or topic can’t be said yes to exactly as presented. Allow yourself to put energy into finding a way to say yes, or saying yes to a version of the idea that maybe looks different than it did initially. Actively looking for ways to make things work has a big impact on other people’s experience with you. This is especially important when dealing with clients and customers. Do everything in your power to avoid ever delivering a no. And when you do deliver a no, use language to appreciate the other person and the intent behind the idea. Say yes to the person, even if it’s no to the idea.

Ultimately, the heart of “saying yes” is about framing your mindset and behavior in a way that’s open and receptive to other people’s ideas and contributions.

When teams show up this way they open the door to possibility, improve their impact on others, and create situations where more than just one person ‘wins.’ Go be awesome.

This article was written by Galen Emanuele for the #shiftyestribe. Free leadership and team culture content centered on a new focus every month. Subscribe at shiftyes.com