Last week I started avoiding the word “but” in all my communications. It’s harder than you’d think. I’d thought I could just replace it with “and” but and that just doesn’t cut it. Sounds weird. It requires a total rewrite of every sentence you put to paper and forces you to think constructively.
No: I’d love to come, but I already made plans.
Yes: I’d love to get together with you some other time. I have plans that night.
No: I would have finished, but it was just too much work.
Yes: My bad. I’ll finish it now.
I highly recommend it.
You’ll come off a lot more upbeat, take more responsibility, and think more about what you’re saying. For me, just thinking before speaking is already an improvement.
You won’t object to someone else’s opinion and be more likely to think about positive ways to engage in real problem solving dialog. You’ll ask questions instead of challenging assumptions.
No: I understand we’re short on time, but won’t the users need a more robust search function?
Yes: How can we satisfy user needs within the given time?
Next week’s challenge? I’m going to try and avoid “like…umm…”