Improv lessons teach us to answer questions and comments with ‘yes and’ instead any negative word such as no or but.
Did you know ‘but’ is a negative word?
Even if your sentence before the but seems positive, the but will cause your listener to only focus on the negative starting with the but.
So instead, say ‘yes, and’ …
such as: and here is how I see it.
and perhaps there is another option to consider.
and I’d like to think about your idea.
Yes and does not mean you are in complete agreement or have agreed to take their recommendation in whole. It does show you are listening and including what they offered in the decision process moving forward. And after further thought you may end up agreeing with them. You are keeping your options open.
I just looked up the definition of ‘polymath.’ It is a person with a number of different expertise and interests who taps into those different topics to apply to problems, decisions and conversations. It doesn’t mean that mathematics has to be one of the areas of expertise though apparently many of those on whom the term is used did have strong math knowledge.
It is too bad that the word seems so unattainable. Everyone can use multiple topics and various knowledge and, especially, multiple viewpoints to address their world.
We all can do a better job of understanding and ‘fixing’ our own dilemmas when we seek wide ranging knowledge, read and observe subjects, be interested and ask questions beyond the narrow scope of our chosen profession.
How to ask for and receive helpful feedback.
When someone offers you feedback, especially if they say “would you like some constructive criticism?” You are likely to cringe. No one likes criticism. It never feels constructive.
Instead, ask for feedback by explaining why you chose them and what type of feedback would be helpful.
For example, say, “I’m asking for feedback from you because you so often catch people’s errors or because you have a completely different viewpoint.”
Both of you will be ready and able to have a truly constructive feedback discussion. No cringing necessary.