Saturday Morning Rounds August 10, 2019 - "Yes, and"

Posted by BossB, MD on August 10, 2019
BossB, MD

Saturday Morning Rounds
A weekly round-up of everything that captured our attention over the last 7 days

What we're reading

I’m a female surgeon. I feel uncomfortable telling girls they can be one, too by Dr. Nikki Stamp

This one really got to us this week. We won't go into our usual summary of the article, because the title is pretty self-explanatory. What we will do, however, is to highlight that there is often a real tension between:

  • Providing hope and encouraging others to put themselves out there and take a risk
  • Providing potentially hard truths that will help people make informed decisions but also might discourage them

And this tension exists in many of life's interactions - from day-to-day stuff like a friend asking "how was the chicken?!" they brought to the potluck (dry), to potentially trajectory-changing decisions like whether to tell a friend about red flags you see in a person that they're considering marrying.

How do you manage this tension? Where do you draw the "say something" line in your own life? How much nuance and detail and caution - if any - would you provide to a little girl who asked if she could be a surgeon one day?

Who we're following
Dr. Dana Corriel, MD (@DrCorriel) is an internist, entrepreneur, and prolific content creator (writer, photographer, video, and more) who started the Doctors on Social Media (@somedocs) movement and #SoMeDocs hashtag to help physicians find their online voices and increase their visibility. She just rolled out the SoMeDocs "Databank" - a centralized place for physicians to tell their stories and get found. Check out the databank if you're interested, but more importantly we recommend giving her accounts a follow so that you can stay up-to-date with the latest best practices for bringing physician voices into the conversations being had online.

BBMD tip of the week
"And" > "But"
We can't help you decide where to draw the line between encouragement and hard truth that we mentioned in this week's "What we're reading" section, but we can help you to deliver your message in a way that will be more productive and well-received by your counterpart.
And the best part?! All it requires is a very small tweak in our language.
See, most of us have a dysfunctional language auto-pilot program that's been running unchecked in our brains pretty much since we learned to speak. Almost any time we want to add some qualifying statement to something we've said, we use the term "but" as a bridge.
"The chicken's flavor is good but it could use a little less time on the grill to be even better"
"Yes you can become a surgeon, but I'd be doing you a disservice not to tell you that it's a very hard road and there are a lot of hurdles on the way"
Here's the rub - when other people hear the word "but," it's a cue to their brain that whatever came before is just filler, and that whatever comes next is actually the important part of the message. But is negative. But is a rejection. But is about pointing out where you're wrong and I'm right.
"And," on the other hand, serves almost the exact same purpose without any of the downside.
"The chicken's flavor is good... and it could use a little less time on the grill to be even better"
"Yes you can become a surgeon... and I'd be doing you a disservice not to tell you that it's a very hard road and there are a lot of hurdles on the way"
And is generative. And increases one's sense of agency. And leads to creativity. That's why imrpov comedians, brainstorm experts, advertisers, and really anyone who's serious about creativity the world round have adopted "yes, and" as their default response to most inputs. Try it out for the next week - both in your speech with others and your speech with yourself - and let us know how it goes!
Quote we're contemplating

"Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates:

Is it true?

Is it necessary?

Is it kind?

- Rumi



As always, please let us know your requests and suggestions on Twitter. Which section above is your favorite? What do you want more or less of? Just send a tweet to @BossB_MD and put #SaturdayMorningRounds in there so we can find it.

Have a wonderful weekend, all!