In a work environment, diversity of perspective can be both a source of innovation and a cause of conflict. When faced with deadlines and performance expectations, we may focus on persuading our colleagues to agree with us and disregard any opposing viewpoints. However, if we are open to learning from the differing intuitions, values, and experiences of our coworkers, we can improve collaboration and move beyond simply trying to win an argument.
One way to do this is to focus on the word "but" and its impact on conversation and trust.
The word "but" is quite prevalent in arguments and negotiations, and this one word can change the tone and direction of your talks.
There are three strategies, suggested by Steven Tolmison, that can help in this regard:
👉 focusing on the positive statements made before "but,"
👉 replacing "but" with curiosity and understanding, and
👉 avoiding "but" altogether by using "and" or "yet."
By implementing these strategies, we can improve communication and create a more trusting and productive work environment.