Trying To Avoid the Word “But”

Words have a lot of power.

When we use certain words, we can make people think and feel different things.

The tricky word “but”

Most of the time, the word “but” is used to link two phrases in a sentence.

However, it can have a negative effect on the first phrase. It can make the first phrase seem unimportant or even like it doesn’t matter at all.

This is especially true when the first phrase includes praise, agreement or an important point.

An example

Let’s say a business partner tells you, “I like your idea, but I think we need to do more research before we can move forward”.

The word “but” can make you feel as if your business partner doesn’t fully agree with the idea and that the need for more research is more important than the positive feedback.

By replacing “but” with “and,” the speaker is able to give both positive and constructive feedback in a more balanced way:

“I like your idea, and I think we need to do more research before we can move forward.”

Of course, there are still times and places to use “but,” but I’ve found that swapping it for “and” makes feedback much easier to give and receive almost every time.

Give it a try and see if it works for you.

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Foto Christine Sparks

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