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But Erases Everything

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.


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