No “Buts” About It

 In 6. Tracy Yandow, Operations, Training

Authored by Tracy Yandow, The Manual Solution

The challenge.

I have a challenge for you.

Try to eliminate the word “but” from your vocabulary. When speaking with employees and co-workers, emailing, or during any type of conversation dealing with others do not use the word “but.”

If you do this, you will strengthen your ability to persuade others and have a better chance of ensuring what you have said has been heard.

How come?

Well, anytime you use the word “but,” in a sentence what a person hears is that you disagree with them. For instance, if you are talking with an employee and say, “I agree with you, but let me say this…” he or she will wonder if you really agree with them or not. And chances are they stopped listening the moment you said “but.”

What should you do instead?

Try using the word “and.” To continue with the above example, replace “but” with “and.” “I agree with you, and let me say this…” By replacing “but” with “and” you eliminate the contradictory tone from your message and make what you have to say much more meaningful and persuasive.

Try it… and become more powerful with just one little word.

Have a great day!

Tracy Yandow is the founder and chief instructional designer for The Manual Solution, a professional documentation writing, instructional design service and partner in product. The Manual Solution provides a wide range of documentation and operational solutions to companies across the nation. Tracy partnered with David Scott Peters, restaurant expert, to produce restaurant specific training manuals for full service and quick service restaurants. Find out more at

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