In Monday Memo


“Yes, but…”

Most of us would be surprised – no, probably shocked – if we knew how many times we use the qualifiers “but”, “no” and “however” in a single conversation, never mind in all our conversations in a single day.

Worse is its impact of these conversations – we are secretly making ourselves right and everyone else wrong. It’s often an opportunity our ego just can’t give up.

It strikes me that we probably don’t mean to be this emotionally unintelligent!

Turning theory into practice: Here are two ways you can try to change this habit:
1. For this week, try to catch yourself using these qualifiers, and replacing “but” with “and” – then try to reflect on the difference it makes to these conversations compared to the ones you had last week!
2. A well-known international executive coach, Marshall Goldsmith, fines some of his clients $20 every time they say “but” or one of its similes in a session. Apart from making sizable donations to charities, it is a fun (and expensive) way to find out just how much one uses these words. So why not ask a colleague and/or your spouse to help you catch yourself saying these words and undertake to donate a specified amount per usage to a charity of your choice.

Monday Morning Perspective: “Stop trying to defend your position and start monitoring how many times you begin remarks with ‘no’, ‘but’ or ‘however’. Pay extra close attention to those moments when you use these words in sentences whose ostensible purpose is agreement with what the other person is saying.” – Marshall Goldsmith

Kind regards,

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