Boris is the smart ol’ CEO of TNW who writes a weekly column on every little thing about being an entrepreneur in tech — from managing stress to embracing awkwardness. You can get his musings straight to your inbox by signing up for his newsletter!
It’s all too pure to go on the defensive when somebody challenges you. You don’t even give it some thought, it’s so instinctive it looks like an integral a part of the dialog. You’re challenged, so that you defend.
But is it actually? I’ve began to pressure myself to chew my lip when somebody says one thing I interpret as a problem to me. It’s removed from simple — as a result of my mind begins to shout ‘yes but!’ each time I understand a problem — however holding myself again has began to repay.
Now, after all there are moments the place a well-placed “yes, but” is smart. Like, if you wish to exit all night time and your mother and father say no, you don’t have any alternative however to throw in a “yes, but” to clarify the way you cleaned your room, washed the dishes, and completed all of your homework.
However, in most different circumstances, like while you’re attempting to study one thing — which, let’s face it, ought to be occurring day-after-day at work — the “yes, but” a part of your mind gained’t assist you to in any respect.
I seen this significantly once I was snowboarding. A ski instructor will say to the skier, “try to move your weight to the front a bit, so you’re more centered on your ski.”
If you really wish to develop into a greater skier, that is the suitable second to close up and hear. But that’s laborious. Most of the time, you’ll hear a direct “yes, but” however from the skier:
“Yes, but that’s because the snow is really powdery, so then I always lean back a bit.”
Sure, that reply is comprehensible, nevertheless it’s not constructive — for anybody.
It gained’t assist the skier get higher, and “yes, but” can also be irritating for lecturers and mentors. They’re not right here to have a negotiation and discover the center floor between them and the scholar. They simply wish to provide the reward of their data — and sometimes you may additionally have paid them to do it, too.
So as a substitute of permitting your #yesbut mind to take over, shut the fuck up and actually take heed to what your instructor has to say.
And earlier than you begin pondering — “I don’t ski, I don’t have teachers, this doesn’t apply to me” — I wish to make it clear that’s your #yesbut mind taking up.
Your co-workers and children are educating you. Every guide or article you learn generally is a studying expertise. Life is one massive studying expertise! But the teachings gained’t stick till you cease defending and begin listening.
Published February 25, 2021 — 15:15 UTC