Remove the but? But how??
But is Hot!
It’s hard to think of a word that triggers more reactivity and drains more trust from conversation than “but.” Notice how often you hear it (and say it) when you’re negotiating or arguing.
Notice how this one word changes the temperature and tone of the moment.
1) Focus on what’s said before “but,”
2) Replace “but” with curiosity, and
3) Stop before the “but.”
Each of these moves requires courage, patience, and practice — and the return on investment is impressive.
Finding Common Ground Via Shared Values
Defense feels natural when we “need” to win an argument. These “but”-busting moves engage the creative possibilities underneath verbal conflict and build the respect and trust that grounds more fruitful collaboration with coworkers.
Changing your relationship with “but” may cost you the chemical rush that comes with familiar fights. Fresh perspective and deeper connection are worth the sacrifice.