Are you unintentionally putting others off when trying to persuade? This week’s video offers a simple, effective tweak to your language that will enable you to make better connections.
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If you want to more effectively communicate and persuade others, here’s a tip for you. Cut the buts!
This week, I have a short, practical idea to help you better connect with others and get your point across. And it comes with a warning. Once you know this, you’ll never hear or read things quite the same again. So you ready? To the best of your ability, eliminate the word “but” from your speaking and writing, starting today.
The word “but” is well intentioned, meaning you understand one idea or perspective, and wish to offer another. Unfortunately, it also has the effect of diminishing what was previously said as less important than your view. If you say, “I see your point, but…” what you are essentially saying is, “Yeah, I see your point, which is incomplete or not really true.” That’s not how persuasion works.
Instead if you were to say, I see your point, AND, this perspective is also true, what I’m saying is these ideas can coexist. You can hold them both together in your mind. And then you can better compare and contrast, or incorporate them into another, better idea.
“You look beautiful, but that outfit just isn’t working.” Translation: you have no style and can’t dress yourself. “You are so talented, but just don’t apply yourself.” Meaning: you are lazy, and coasting on natural ability. Do you see how these just aren’t compliments? What’s intended to be helpful is perceived as critical. Anything said before the “but” is instantly negated or replaced by the opposite.
For starters, substitute “and” or “yet” for “but” in your speech and writing. It doesn’t work every time, yet more often than you may think! Then, try other ways to be more exact in expressing yourself.
You are a person of influence. Your words matter, as they provide to everyone you encounter a reflection of themselves and your unique perspective. And you don’t have to make others wrong to provide value and encouragement. So, cut the buts, and until next week, stay Off Balance On Purpose.
The audio for this week’s coaching video is located under the “Get Inspired” tab in the Positive Playlist . You can subscribe to the podcast and listen to other weekly messages for improving all aspects of your life.