Yesterday, an employee of the convention center, whose name was Eileen, came up to me as I was cleaning up after my presentation at the conference I was speaking at.
She said she heard some of my talk while she was working around and beside the room in which I was speaking and she wanted to grab the list of my “7 Deadliest Communication Sins.”
As I was putting my things away I gave her one of the handouts so she could take notes as I went down the list.
When I got to #4, which is “A Lack of Respectful ReBUTals,” I explained to her that it meant we should avoid disingenuous phrases that incorporate the word “BUT” when offering feedback to people or when in a discussion or debate on issues, such as “That’s a really great idea, but…”
She said, “that’s right, because ‘behold the truth, it comes after the but!’ She told me that was something a teacher told her many years ago.
That is so true!
What you really believe comes after the “BUT.”
Which means, whatever comes before is negated and worthless.
In applying those phrases, which we do to try to be supportive and non-confrontational, we create negative energy and feelings in the other person who does not feel supported when the other side of the statement hits them between the eyes.
I love that phrase, “behold the truth, it comes after the “BUT.” I will be using that in my future talks, for sure. Thanks, Eileen!
On Monday, at another training, one of my seminar participants was very familiar with this strategy,. He understood its power in communication and helped me in my discussion of it.
This workshop participant, whose name was Jeff, not only reinforced the strategy of replacing BUT with “AND” as the transitional word, he was very articulate in telling the rest of the audience of 50 business professionals that it is a very, very challenging communication skill to incorporate.
Jeff reinforced that it takes tremendous, conscious forethought to craft your language in such a way that it fits with the “and” transition to provide a truly supportive and reinforcing statement that builds trust and provides a foundation on which the conversation can move forward in a positive manner.
So, this is a “thank you” to both Jeff and Eileen for adding value to my work, and making my programs even better, plus a “thank you” to all my workshop participants for allowing me the privilege and honor of giving me their valuable time and attention each time.
’til next time, make it a great week!