There’s nothing more soul-crushing than expressing your heartfelt opinion on a topic, and someone replies with “Yes, but…” or when you are receiving feedback, and you hear, “You did a great job, but…”
The moment we hear the word "but", we immediately anticipate the person to disagree with us or expect negative feedback to be delivered.
When you don’t agree with someone, rather than responding with “Yes, but here’s another thing to consider…” try, “Yes, and here’s another thing to consider…”.
Replacing “but” with “and” allows you to disagree without being disagreeable. It also shows that you are a good listener and have heard and understood the other person.
"But" has negative connotations and is often used to defend your interests, actions, beliefs, decisions and points of view.
Something to think about during your conversations… Every time you use "but", how would the connotation of what you said change if you had used "and" instead?
Here are a few more examples:
“Your presentation was great, I really enjoyed the opening joke, but you could have included a personal story…”
“Your presentation was great, I really enjoyed the opening joke, and you could have included a personal story…”
“We went on holiday but it was raining, so we didn’t get to do everything we wanted to.”
“We went on holiday and it was raining, so we got to do different activities than what we had planned.”
“I really like what you have done with this project, but what about making s alterations?”
I really like what you have done with this project, and we can add to it by making some alterations.”
Subtle variations lead to significant improvements.