communication skills

But – a word to ditch, here’s why…

But – a word not to use in your business, why?

When I trained in NLP (oh wow 18 years ago – I’m not really this old am I?!?) we learnt that the word “but” tends to get misinterpreted by our brains.

We hear but like we are bunch of 5 year olds in class and can’t help a titter at a bottom related word.

But that’s not the worse of it.

Far more worryingly, is that it tends to make us assume that everything that has been said prior to the “but” has to be ignored.

It is also a word to avoid like the plague in communication, negotiations and especially working with teams or onboarding new customers.

If you disagree with what someone has said using the word “but” says “I’m not hearing your view” where as if you use “and” you are sharing your view without creating a barrier to enable the other party(ies) to appreciate what you’ve got to say.

If you can start your reply with something that repeats something the other party says and then use the “and” word instead of “but”, you will find the other parties far more open to whatever you have to say.

I’m an expert in getting people to see views and accept ideas they don’t want to, so if you need to;

  • Tell someone they aren’t doing the job they are paid to do and they need to up their game.
  • Advise you can’t do more for what they’ve already agreed to pay you.
  • You won’t be able to do that task.
  • You do expect them to do a task that is a chore but it’s got to be done.
  • There is no more money, this is the job and we love you very much but we can’t give you a pay rise.

Then ask me for tips on how to make them want to do what you want them to do.

The great thing about influential communication is that when you understand how to do it powerfully people naturally want to do what you want them to do and you experience far less friction too. That’s good for team relationships, management, customer relationships, supplier conversations – even teens and grumpy partners!

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