Put Yourself on a Word Diet: No More 'No Buts'


Here’s an annoying habit we all engage in, some of us more than others:

Starting a sentence with “No,” “But,” or “However…”

Whenever you begin with “no,” “but,” “however,” or any other variation of this, you send a message to the person that they are wrong. No matter how you phrase it, however you may throw in a polite phrase or two, it comes out as bluntly negating what the person has said.

Nothing productive follows. The only response to it is to dig in and defend your position. This is no longer communication, this devolves quickly into two people trying to win.

Another variation is “Yes, but…” It’s also true for “That’s true, however…” How many times a day do we say these phrases? All the time.

Here’s a challenge: catch yourself the next time you utter no, but, however. Examine your intention. Do you really want to open up the discussion to finding solutions? Or are you trying to win, wanting to look smart?

Think about it. Put yourself on a no-but-however restrictive diet. See what happens.

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