Archive for the ‘and’ Category

One Simple Way to Immediately Improve Your Communication

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

You better shut up my dear!The meaning of communication is the response it gets.

Have you ever wondered why others sometimes misunderstand you, unexpectedly take offense, become argumentative or appear resistant to your ideas? You might be curious to learn there’s a surprising answer to that question.

Here’s one simple way to change the impact of your communication with anyone—starting today.

Yes, you read that right. One—simple—way. With–anyone. Starting–today.

It all has to do with two, very simple, three-letter words you use everyday. When you learn to substitute one for the other, you’ll create an entirely different result in your ability to communicate in a way that will make others stop and listen.

And here it is.

Stop using the word but, and start using the word and. These two words impart two very different meanings and the impact of making this change will astonish you.

Notice the difference between the two sentences below. As a listener, which would you rather hear from a loved one?

I love you, but please listen to me.


I love you and please listen to me.

The second sentence does a much better job of imparting the idea that the speaker, in all sincerity, loves the person to whom they are speaking, doesn’t it.  This occurs because in the first sentence, the word but creates a contrast between two thoughts; but in the second, the word and creates a connection.

The power of changing this one little word makes all the difference.

Here’s why. The conjunction but is used to introduce a contrasting thought. Here are a few of the synonymous words and phrases for the word but: notwithstanding, despite that, nevertheless, then again, yet, even so, however, in spite of that.

In the first sentence—I love you, but I want you to listen to me—the first phrase, I love you, is contrasted against the second part. The word but disconnects the two thoughts and creates an impression that the second phrase, I want you to listen to me, trumps the first.

On the other hand (that would be a but), in the second sentence, the conjunction and is used to introduce a connecting, successive or additional thought.

And is used to impart that things are to be taken together or jointly. Here are a few words that are synonymous with the word and: together with, along with, including, with, as well as, in addition to, also, plus.

The beginning phase, “I love you” is connected to the second phrase. They are meant to be taken together, rather than apart. In this case, the word and includes the first phrase and ties it to the second.

Simply substituting the word and for but can be extremely effectively when you want your listener to feel that you want them to consider two ideas at once, as in the above example.

It can also be equally effectively when you want your listener to feel that you are including their idea as well as your own.

Notice the difference between the two sentences below. As a listener, which of them creates a sense of inclusion of your ideas?

I hear what you’re saying, but I still feel we need to get more information going forward.


I hear what you’re saying and I still feel we need to get more information going forward.

The word but in the first sentence in effect ‘blocks’ the other person’s idea; whereas the word and in the second includes it.

This not only helps to create a sense of inclusion for the listener, it serves as a reminder to you—as the speaker— to more fully consider them when considering your own. Who knew one little word could make such a big difference, right?

And you might be surprised, as you start to listen to how you and others are speaking, just how often people use the word but when an and would be far more effective.

So here’s today’s challenge. It might take a little deliberate noticing on your part, but start substituting the word and for but.  It’s well worth the practice to stop yourself from using the word but when an and would be more appropriate. Try it for one day and see what happens.

Make a decision to get your but out of the way and starting today you’ll find that people will be far more open and agreeable to what you have to say.