Don’t Say “No, But…”
February 24, 2021
For a long time, I had a bad habit. When conversing with anyone, I would often respond with a “No, But…” in the sentence.
“Boss, I want to run a sales campaign,” a colleague would inform me, and my response would be, “No, But have you done this first.”
“Dad, you are always giving me moral lessons,” my son complained to me. “No, But why do I give you moral lectures. Because it’s important,” I would respond.
Without realizing it, “No, But……” had become an automatic part of my vocabulary. I became aware of how damaging this was when I went through a coaching certification program about five years back. My instructor in that program pointed it out to me, “Pramod, you have a habit of starting your sentences with NO, But…It makes you sound opinionated and undermines the very message you are trying to convey. “
Once I became aware of this weakness, I consciously worked on controlling the habit of repeatedly saying “No, But..” at the beginning of every sentence. To this day, I have to be very careful about not regressing.
If someone talks to you and the first word coming out of his mouth is NO, what is the message he is conveying? – “you don’t know anything, you are wrong.”
If the next word after the NO is a BUT, what is the message he is conveying? – “I don’t care about anything you just said. I disregard it completely.”
Check yourself out on this. How often do you start your sentences with “No, But….”? It is something you would do well to take out of your vocabulary. Your overall communication will improve by an order of magnitude.