Why Not To Say ‘But’!

Simply changing one three-letter word can often spell the difference between failure and success in changing people… Dale Carnegie


Who amongst us doesn’t make sentences like the following when talking to others?

What you say makes a lot of sense but this is what I have to say…

How effective is such an approach? What would happen if we replace the ‘but’ with an ‘and’? As soon as the other person hears us say ‘but’ they start to tune us out and build up mental defenses. When we want to point out an error in another’s way of doing (or being) something, let’s do so as tactfully as possible.

life principles

23rd Dale Carnegie Principle: Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.

Here’s a story from the book:

Charles Schwab was passing through one of his steel mills one day at noon when he came across some of his employees smoking. Immediately above their heads was a sign that said "No Smoking." Did Schwab point to the sign and say, "Can’t you read.? Oh, no not Schwab. He walked over to the men, handed each one a cigar, and said, "I’ll appreciate it, boys, if you will smoke these on the outside." They knew that he knew that they had broken a rule – and they admired him because he said nothing about it and gave them a little present and made them feel important. Couldn’t keep from loving a man like that, could you?

Daily Affirmation: Today I AM an ‘and’, not a ‘but’ kind of person!

Recommendation: How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie

How To Win Friends And Influence People, Revised EditionKindle Fire, Full Color 7