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Leadership Development Blog


Death by a Thousand BUT’s


“Love your idea, BUT…”
“In principal that would work, BUT…”
“I know how you feel, BUT…"
“We understand your concerns very well, BUT…”
“I know it’s good for the me, BUT…”
“Yeaaaahhh, BUT…”

And the list goes on! Death by a thousand painful BUT’s as they kill:
  • Conversations
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Engagement
  • Stimulating discussion
  • Further contributions and ideas
It’s easy to say BUT, and more likely to be used because it’s habit, not skill. It’s easy to say AND, too - a simple three letter word less likely to be used because it’s not yet habit.

So try and make it part of your response before a four letter word is said behind your back or to your ears. That’s no fun!

So let’s look at the examples again and see how easy it to change their impact

“Love your idea, and let’s explore how they may work as I need further information to be clear."

“In principal, that would work, what did you have in mind as I am not sure of how this may develop."

“I know how you feel, i t certainly is challenging. What would you suggest as another option as well?"

“We understand your concerns very well, h av e you considered another way around this before we decide?"

“I know it’s good for the me, and while I appreciate the value, its not really working for me right now so I would like to consider it over time."

“Yeaaaahhh, you have made a relevant point – its not what I have experienced. I am coming from this in a different way so here’s what I would like to add to the discussion."

By taking a little care and converting the BUT’s to AND’s, you can stay tuned in to others so they don’t tune out!

Posted by Ricky Nowak on 15th April, 2013 |
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