No Buts About It

By Pamela A. Scott

Here’s something new and different to use to improve your communication with others. It’s a lot harder than it seems.

Ban the use of the word “but.”

For example, you’re in a team meeting and people are evaluating whether to open another office location. Paul says, “We’ve got a client in the area. It makes sense to set up an office there to give us a local presence.”

Natalie replies: “But that’s going to cost us for office space and all that.”

The “but” immediately discredits Paul’s idea. What if Natalie had just dropped the “but” and said, “That’s going to cost us for office space and all that.”

See what happens? The critical tone is gone. She is just stating a fact, rather than implying an opinion. That leaves room for the conversation to continue.

Some people suggest using the word “and” where you would typically say “but.”

For example, “I would really like to see that movie, but tonight isn’t going to work for me.” What happens when you change it to “I would really like to see that movie, and tonight isn’t going to work for me.”

It’s weird and it’s awkward. But (I know) the awkwardness of it will make you realize how often you use the word “but.” It isn’t pretty.


One Response to “No Buts About It”

  1. Idrees Shah says:

    It’s very simple word, however the effect & gain is enormous.

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