Tuesday, July 17, 2007

21 alternatives for the word “but”

“But” is a very dangerous word.

It puts people on the defensive.
It makes them think there’s a catch.
It negates everything you said before.
It reduces the positivity of your argument.

Now, in most articles addressing this topic, experts will suggest:

“Don’t say Yes, BUT; say Yes, AND.”

That’s a good idea.

THE CHALLENGE IS: sometimes saying “Yes, AND” isn’t enough.

Here’s a list of 21 Phrases that Payses to be used in place of the word “but.”

Whether you’re dealing with customers, employees, friends or family members, these alternatives statements will boost your approachability as soon as you open your mouth.

(NOTE: in each of these examples, you will be choosing an alternative for the response, “That’s a good idea. But…”)

1. “That’s a good idea. Now, that’s likely to cause (x), so what do you think we should do about…”

2. “That’s a good idea. And that’s probably going to result in (x), so what’s the best way to handle…”

3. “That’s a good idea. I think the biggest challenge is going to be…”

4. “That’s a good idea. Do you really think it will work?”

5. “That’s a good idea. Do you think anything negative could result?”

6. “That’s a good idea. Have you ever thought about…?”

7. “That’s a good idea. Here’s what you need to be careful of:”

8. “That’s a good idea. However…”

9. “That’s a good idea. I wonder if it will get done on time…”

10. “That’s a good idea. Just be sure to remember that…”

11. “That’s a good idea. My concern is that…”

12. “That’s a good idea. The challenge is figure out whether or not it’s feasible.”

13. “That’s a good idea. So, if you did that, what will you do about…?”

14. “That’s a good idea. So, what’s it going to take to avoid…?”

15. “That’s a good idea. The challenge is: how can we make it work?” (Did you notice I used this example earlier in the post?”)

16. “That’s a good idea. The big question is: is it in our budget?”

17. “That’s a good idea. The reason I’m hesitant to move forward is because…”

18. “That’s a good idea. The reason I’m unable to help is because…”

19. “That’s a good idea. Unfortunately…”

20. “That’s a good idea. What I wonder about is…”

21. “That’s a good idea. So, let’s say we did that. Do you think there’s anything we need to be concerned about?”

Ultimately, phrases like these WIN because:

They focus on solutions.
They maintain positivity.
They ASK instead of TELL.
They foster creative thinking.
They encourage open dialogue.

So, study them today. Refer to them periodically. And use them forever!

And your words will become instantly approachable.

Because sometimes “Yes, AND” isn’t enough.

What do you say instead of "but"?

Share your best Phrases that Payses here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott's interview on 20/20!

add to del.icio.us * digg it! * email this post