I forget where I picked this up, but a few years ago someone suggested dropping the word ‘but’ from most of my conversations.
Here’s why. We’ve all been in the situation where someone pulls us aside and tells us two or three encouraging and positive things. “Hey, I really love your work on the project and I’ve seen how many hours you’ve put in…” And something inside of us really can’t hear it because we are waiting for the ‘but’ that we suspect is coming. And often it is. “….but I’ve got one concern.”
For me, the ‘but’ undoes all the good I’ve already heard. I get transfixed by it. In all likelihood, so do you.
So instead of saying “but”, try saying “and” more often. Listen to the difference. “Hey I really love your work on the project and I’ve seen how many hours you’ve put in. Thank you. And I’ve really only got one concern.”
Do you hear the difference?
You did a great job taking out the trash, and there’s only one thing left to do.
I loved the meal tonight! Thank you. And next time I wonder if we changed this one thing I think it might even taste better.
I loved your message on Sunday. Really spoke to me. And I was wondering….
One little word. Big difference.
What do you think?