I have a baby and a dog. They need “yes” space. As much as possible, we try to keep them in areas where they can do no wrong. I can leave pieces of plastic wrapper on the floor and yell “no!” at the dog every time he goes near it, or I can pick up that piece of plastic.
I love “yes” spaces for me, too. I like it when I can do no wrong, or at least where I know the rules. It’s fun to go to precious places, but generally, I’d rather be in a dive bar than a snooty restaurant because I’m less likely to get judgemental looks or booted out.
Master entertainers create “yes” spaces for their audiences. We make it as clear as possible what’s expected, and make it easy to attain a rewarding experience. We light up the stage. We darken the audience. We don’t give the crowd swivel chairs.
It takes a lot of forethought to make space yessable, but that effort is exponentially paid back with a collaborative audience.
Let’s do better. Let’s think about what we “no” and take it away, or make a “yes” alternative. This article is related.