Is your but too big?

Here’s a common workplace scenario: “Joe, you did a great job in that client meeting, BUT next time allow more time for the client to ask questions.” Did Joe do a great job or not? No one knows! How about using a period instead of a but: “Joe, you delivered a great presentation to the client and you looked comfortable and confident. How did you think it went?” (Then listen!) “A suggestion I have for next time is to allow 15 minutes at the end for the client to ask questions.” It’s a different conversation, a better conversation.

Buts Limit Potential

 That would be a great idea, BUT…

I’ve always wanted to do that, BUT …

I know I need to take better care of myself, BUT …

What if you were able to look beyond the limitations and look toward creative solutions? What if you didn’t have all the answers? What if you changed your habits and got rid of your excuses?

 Buts Negate Praise

 Great job today, BUT …

You are a really nice person, BUT …

You played great in that game today, BUT …

You can hear it in their tone. The affirming praise you are receiving is about to be negated by a big old but.  Everything prior to the but is now erased. Why not use a period instead of a but? “Here’s what I thought you did well. Here’s how I think you could get even better.” It’s a different conversation.

My apologies … from this point on, you may have a flag pop up in your head every time someone throws a but your way. There’s a time and place for it, no doubt, BUT use it intentionally!

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”  ~Mae West

 “I am only one, but still I am one.” ~Helen Keller

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength …'” ~Isaiah 40:31