Have you seen the scene in the movie Sing where the three rabbits are singing ‘Oh my God, look at her butt’, this was the highlight for my youngest son! There is a lot of talk about butts, and bottoms at the moment in our house. Then it dawned on me how much I use the word BUT – ‘It was a great meeting but….’, ‘I love the idea but..’, ‘we love being back in the UK but…’.
Any positive message is lost as soon as the word BUT is uttered. In fact, you forget what comes before the but - the but becomes the focal point and what follows is negative.
So, I’ve started to replace the word BUT with AND.
It isn’t easy, in fact over the last couple of weeks what I’m noticing is when I say BUT, my brain then remembers I am trying to say AND, and then I end up saying Bollocks!
And what I’m noticing is, when I do say AND instead of BUT, the impact is noticeable. I don’t feel the negativity, or the drop in the conversation.
Why am I bothering?
Well I was part of a meeting recently when some research from Stanford University was mentioned. And how making changes such as replacing BUT with AND, and introducing ‘WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THAT IDEA, AND’ instead of our natural tendency to find fault in an idea, has a huge impact on our positivity and those around us, and our ability to create new ideas and new ways of thinking about a situation.
Give it a go, replace BUT with AND, and next time you are in a meeting with someone stretch yourself to say ‘What I like about that idea is…..and…’, and if all else fails say bollocks, it will confuse your audience!