Some reflections on the difference between ‘Yes, but’ and ‘Yes, and’
By Rob Hopkins 10th December 2020 Culture & Society
Near the end of my recent visit to Luxembourg, I was interviewed for Luxembourgish TV by a reporter who is the country’s leading political interviewer. Think Jeremy Paxman or Andrew Neill – her job is to hold politicians to account. It was the first time I have ever done an interview like that, and it was a pretty intense and adrenalin-filled hour of my life.
About half way through the interview I started to notice a pattern.
Every time she asked me a question she would start it with the word
‘but’. For me it felt like it dismissed, and swept aside, everything
that I had been saying up that point, offering the next question as a
kind of ‘gotcha’. I tried my best to respond to each question with a
positive mixture of stories of things I’ve seen in the world, trying to
open up possibilities and bringing the best evidence I know of to
support what I was saying. It felt like I would build, and then she
would undermine and knock down, I would build, she would undermine and
knock down. It was pretty exhausting. You’ll know the kind of thing, we
see it on TV political shows every time we turn them on.
Rob Hopkins is Co-founder
of Transition Network, catalyst, blogger, appearer in Cesar-winning
film ‘Demain’, father, swimmer, public speaker. Born at 323.15ppm.
Author of ‘From What Is to What If’.
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