Two questions to celebrate learning

Yay! Questions

The Management 3.0 practice of Yay! Questions can be used with the Celebration Grid or with any other practice of experimentation and learning. This practice is so simple that it can be applied to any retrospective or “How are we doing?” meeting.


Like all practices, it emphasizes learning over right versus wrong, following the theory that when things go wrong it’s best to focus on what did indeed go well.

The two main Yay! Questions are:

What did we do well? (by following practices)
What did we learn? (by running experiments)

Instead of focussing on things that went wrong, it is a more positive approach to focus on what went well.

People love to share something that went well. It can create a positive vibe. It is also good to share practices that went well, and people are more likely to try out practices that have good results.

The second question is about emphasizing that learning is the way to go. People love to experiment. That is also how we learned as kids. By focusing on learning, you can share successes and failures, and both are ok as long as people learn from the experiments and share their learnings.

The two questions are both reasons to celebrate. You celebrate to reinforce good behaviors, and you celebrate to reinforce learning. Both are necessary when you aim to engage people, improve work, and delight clients. Additionally, both successes and lessons learned are reasons to celebrate — with the ring of a victory bell, applause, or a piece of cake!

You could make it a habit to start your weekly call, retrospective, or update meetings by asking the two Yay! Questions. By asking what we did well, you are creating a space for people to talk about something positive, feel good about what happened last week and feel good about themselves. It will give the meeting a positive start.

Secondly, people will become more aware of the things they did well and which experiments they tried. They will become more mindful of good practices and experiments to share this in the next meeting.

It is, in the end, all about learning and sharing good practices with team members.

Why not kick off regular meetings with Yay! questions today?

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Yay! Questions Tips

Try asking the two questions: “What did we learn?” & “What did we do well?” in different ways. For example: “What should we try?” & “What should we repeat?”

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Learn more about How to Improve Everything in the Management 3.0 Main Module Success and Failure.

Have you already tried these Management 3.0 Tools & Practices?

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