top of page

Use "And" instead of "But" to Improve Communications

A few years ago, I attended a session at a conference called Using “And” instead of “But” to Improve Communications. I have found this one small change in my communicating has had huge positive ramifications in my life. I now avoid using the word “but” - with my kids (“You may borrow my car, and please clean your room before you leave the house.”), my partner (“I will put out our trash cans this morning, and I would appreciate you putting them in the garage tonight.”), my co-workers (“I was disappointed we did not get the grant, and I know our team put in many hours into the proposal.”), anyone I come in contact with and myself. By using “and” instead of “but” my communication is more positive, constructive, and validating. Using the word “but” in communications is defensive, dismissive, negative and is not helpful or productive. Try this out. First, notice when you use “but” in your sentences. How would your communication have been different if you used “and” instead? Next, intentionally use “and” instead of “but” in a communication. Better, right? Using “and” instead of “but” helps us build a more positive mindset and deeper relationships with others.


bottom of page