Why I refuse to just say ‘yeah’ at the office

A new MIT study finds that saying ‘yeah’ in a meeting holds significant persuasive power. This author doesn’t care.

In the zany 2008 romantic comedy “Yes Man,” Jim Carrey stars as Carl Allen. His character signs up for a self-help program based on the simple principle that guides comedy improvisation around the world: He says “yes” to everything.

Wait a minute. Although unleashing the power of “yes” initially transforms Carl’s life, he soon discovers the drawbacks of this powerful word. (Spoiler alert: At the end of the movie several hundred people get naked after Carl persuades them to donate their clothes to a homeless shelter.)

Now, MIT’s Sloan School of Management has climbed on the yes bandwagon. In a June 2013 study, researchers from the institute have suggested that the word “yeah” has a powerful ability to persuade our bosses or colleagues to agree with us.

Go figure.

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