A good friend pointed out to me the power of BUT. I began to notice how often this little word entered my sentences. Now I try to use AND instead, and find the impact quite amazing.

"I think your idea is great, but...." "Your shoes are wonderful, but..." "I was hoping to go, but..."

BUT seems to erase everything that goes before it. Gone. Invalid. Not real. We want to focus only on what comes after.

"...but I don't think it will work"

"...but the colour won't match your outfit"

"...but I have another commitment"

This second part is what counts. What about the first? What if we use AND rather than BUT? With AND we can consider both. Include both. Embrace both. See both as part of the process.

"I think your idea is great, AND maybe we could consider this as well."

"Your shoes are wonderful, AND the colour isn't as important as the elegance of the style."

"I was hoping to go, AND maybe next time I will be free."

The change is small. The impact can be great. Both ideas are worth including.