And Not But Meeting Ground Rule

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What is the 'and not but meeting ground rule'?
  • Why can't I say but?
  • What do I say instead of but?

This guidance recommends a standing ground rule at all meetings: No "buts," only "and".

The most frequent behavior we all engage in at work is communication. And, for most of us, we don't think about it much. We were never really "taught" how to communicate, though we did "learn" it.

This creates problems for us at work, though. We "learned" when we weren't in a professional environment. And the professional environment requires us to work in close proximity to others. We bring our "learned" behaviors. They bring theirs. Thus, conflict. It's time to start learning new behaviors.

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Are there 2 kinds of "but"?


listening to another excellent podcast, I wounder if there are two kinds of "but":

1. when contrasting ideas between people. Example: I understand that you want to go to the training but we do not have the money.

2. Description of a situation. Example: Let me tell you a story... So the donkey arrived, but it was too late - all the cookies had vanished..

For practical reasons, it might be smart to ban all buts to avoid discussions which one is which.


Question: Could "or" replace "but"

Great Podcast! I just listened to this and the "How not to disagree" podcast.

I am actively working on removing "but" from my vocabulary and finding it difficult. Everytime I slip up the quote "but me no buts" comes to mind.

Question: Are there any other suitable alternatives to "but" other than "and"?

I had thought of using "or" as a way of introducing an alternative idea without putting down the original idea from someone else.