words

Career Killing Words Part 1: BUT

In my experience of coaching executives and managers, I’ve noticed a language that separates the great leaders from the average leaders. Here is a list of words that you should eliminate from your vocabulary if you want to be a truly effective leader.

But: The word “but” is the Great Discredit-ter.  Anytime you use the word “but” you automatically discredit everything you said leading up to that word. A trick that I read was instead of using the word “but” use the word “and” here’s an example

BAD: "Tom, I appreciate the hard work you’ve been doing lately. All your projects have turned out really great but, I have some changes I want you to think about."

Better: "Tom, I appreciate the hard work you’ve been doing lately. All your projects have turned out really great and, I have some changes I want you to think about."

Using the word “and” doesn’t discount the good that the employee has done, however, it does make it easier to segue into a new conversation about change. Do not tag-on to a compliment with a "but" that will automatically have the person you are speaking with become defensive. Instead, make you compliment complete and genuine and then more one to the other items that you need to address with that person.