Is there ever a time when a ‘but’ is useful for a leader? You bet, when it’s a small ‘but’. What does that look like? For all those people reading this with clean minds it’s a ‘but’ without a capital letter, and it’s usually placed more than two words into the sentence. So how can small ‘buts’ be acceptable and big ‘Buts’ not? How can small ‘buts’ lead to people feeling safe and valued?
Well, the purpose of a ‘but’ is to negate what has come before it, so if you want your listener to forget the first part of the sentence, if you want to shift the focus of their thinking ( to make them feel more involved or safer or more positive), you can use a small ‘but’ to make them remember the second part of your sentence.
This might seem complicated now, but I know you will learn how to choose and place your ‘but’ with care.
The opposite of ‘but’ is ‘and’; so if you want your listeners to remember both bits of your sentence, then join with an ‘and’. I don’t need to give you an example of this because I trust you to listen out for examples and to use your professional judgment when trying it out.