If there is one word that above all others – and I know that some if not many will disagree with me – that I would ban the use of especially when talking to and trying to inspire and motivate children it would be the word ‘but’.
Throughout my life -and I’m convinced I’m not the only one – I have never met or even heard of a ‘no buts’ person.
Let me explain.
It seems to me that whenever I’ve heard or seen someone talk about, to, or of another person when praising, admiring or simply congratulating and saying well done even for the smallest of things if it is done to inspire or motivate they invariably follow the praise up with a ‘but’
“Well done you’ve done really well – ‘but’ if you had done this you’ll be even better”
“Congratulations on getting straight Grade A’s – ‘but’ with a little more effort you could get straight A Stars”
“Fantastic you’ve just broke the world record for the 100m – ‘but’ if you had a better start you could lower it again”.
Now perhaps I’m being over sensitive ‘but’ – there is that word – the word ‘but’ used in a motivation context always sound like a criticism”
I actually now find myself waiting for the ‘but’.
‘But’ it’s a valid use of the word I hear those who study these things say ‘but’ why use ‘but’ is my question.
Why not use the word ‘and’ in place of ‘but’ in this context.
Isn’t ‘and’ a more positive word to use?
“Well done you’ve done really well – ‘and ‘ if you do this you’ll be even better”
“Congratulations on getting straight Grade A’s – ‘and’ with a little more effort you will get straight A stars”
“Fantastic you’ve just broke the world record for the 100m – ‘and ‘ if you have a better start you will lower it again”.
‘But’ – criticism
‘And’ – affirmative
So as I said at the start I would ban the word ‘but’ and replace it with the word ‘and’.
‘But’ I may be wrong ‘and’ anyway is there anyone who really cares?