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But Erases Everything


Communication kirk mindset morning huddle verbal skills Nov 08, 2022
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Imagine if a team member came up to you and said:

“The patients love you, BUT they need help understanding basic procedures.”

How would that make you feel? You’d probably feel defensive, unseen, and maybe even a little stupid. The word “but” negates everything that came before it. You might as well erase the first part of the sentence!

Do your best to eliminate “but” statements from your practice. The word has a negative connotation, and it can really take the wind out of somebody’s sails. “But” makes team members feel like you don’t value their input.

Here’s a quick fix: replace “but” with “and.” The change might be small, but it makes a world of difference. Let’s look at that same sentence again:

“The patients love you, AND they need help understanding basic procedures.”

The word “and” lets team members share their opinions without dismissing the merits of another person. It softens the blow of criticism and makes the recipient feel heard.

This week, I challenge you and your team to change every “but” to “and.” You’ll notice a shift in perspective right away! To help your team understand this concept, show them this quick video at your next morning huddle.

Kirk Behrendt

Kirk Behrendt is a renowned consultant and speaker in the dental industry, known for his expertise in helping dentists create better practices and better lives. With over 30 years of experience in the field, Kirk has dedicated his professional life to optimizing the best systems and practices in dentistry. Kirk has been a featured speaker at every major dental meeting in the United States. His company, ACT Dental, has consistently been ranked as one of the top dental consultants in Dentistry Today's annual rankings for the past 10 years. In addition, ACT Dental was named one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States by Inc Magazine, appearing on their Inc 5000 list. Kirk's motivational skills are widely recognized in the dental industry. Dr. Peter Dawson of The Dawson Academy has referred to Kirk as "THE best motivator I have ever heard." Kirk has also assembled a trusted team of advisor experts who work with dentists to customize individual solutions that meet their unique needs. When he's not motivating dentists and their teams, Kirk enjoys coaching his children's sports teams and spending time with his amazing wife, Sarah, and their four children, Kinzie, Lily, Zoe, and Bo.