+61 406 930 699 glyn@keystoneskills.com.au



By In Uncategorized On October 15, 2014

Have you ever counted how many times you use the word but? Did you know using the word ‘and’ is better than ‘but’ especially when you are delivering, potentially, bad news to someone?

Let’s say you go to the supermarket and you forget the coffee….sorry to be a reminder of those small yet frustrating times…

So you forget the coffee, you say I went to the supermarket but I forgot the coffee. It has a sense of you failing in some way as if it were the main reason you went to the supermarket or if you had to forget something, why was it the ‘all important’ coffee? I actually think coffee is a pretty important item.

Seems more disempowering than I went to the supermarket and I forgot the coffee. AND placed here has a subtle sense of success or information rather failure.

AND is inclusive BUT negates. It’s subtle yet present.

What about in a staff review, we all know when ITS COMING, e.g. ’you have given us everything you’ve got….BUT budgets are tight  so we just can’t keep you on anymore.

Or well done on the ………but we are looking for ……..you will land on your feet with all your brilliant skills. Hmmm… Then why am I not still wit choo?:(

Or ‘yes you do look good in those jeans, but…..’

The but is referred to as part of the sandwich model when you are in between two positives and the real message is right in the middle. Guess what you are waiting for as soon as the first positive sentence hits the air, guess what you don’t hear…the last positive message after the real message, Guess what you repeat as your story to friends in the bar ‘They tried to soften it’, but I still got the sack. Anything after ‘the but’ negates the bit before ‘the but’.

Simply put But is a barrier and is a joining word helping the sentence flow.

What’s your favourite ‘but’ story?  Leave a comment below

Warm wishes


Glyn Conlon

Communication Specialist


M: 0406 930 699      Communication that simply works!

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