How to Keep People Engaged by switching one simple word featured image woman

How to Keep People Engaged by Switching One Simple Word

We’ve all been in a conversation where the word ‘but’ comes in and you immediately think ‘here we go’ – your mindset has completely shifted for the duration of the conversation, and you may even shut down. ‘But’ is a word that negates everything that was said before it, especially in a workplace setting. Are you wondering how to have those constructive conversations without using the B-word? I have a simple solution to share with you today, and I think you’ll be surprised at just how simple.

How to Keep People Engaged by Switching One Simple Word

The word ‘but’ is a word that makes everything before it feel null and void, whether intended that way or not. Especially in constructive conversation, starting with something positive and then following with something negative or constructive, will leave whoever you are talking to only thinking about the negative piece of the conversation. So what is this almighty word to switch out and use instead? It’s one of the most used words in the English language – ‘and’.

I know, you’re probably thinking “Come on Gregg, there’s no way it’s that easy”. It is though, try it and see. For example – “I think this is going really well, but I want you to focus on this.” It instantly makes you feel like the part that’s going well isn’t good enough. So now try it this way – “I think this is going really well, and now that we have a grasp on that I also want to focus on this.” It immediately shifts the tone away from a negative place and keeps people engaged in the conversation. It’s that simple.

This is one of my favourite #ChangeHacks – not just for its simplicity but for the magnitude of change it can create. Not all change is easy to implement, but this is one hack you can start to use immediately and feel the impact of the results.

So the next time you find yourself in a constructive conversation, whether at work, home, or anywhere else, try switching out ‘but’ with ‘and’ and experience the difference for yourself.

Let me know how it goes!

Together we can navigate the future of work! #BeChangeReady