It’s Time to ‘But-Out’ in the Workplace

Letting Go of a Very Bad Habit: the Instinctive Urge to Control Conversations

This column isn’t about smoking in the workplace. It’s about a simple little change in communication behaviour that can pay big dividends in collaboration and productivity. Bluntly put, I think it’s time to regulate the use of the little word ‘but’ in everyday work relationships.

Actually, I’ve thought this way for years. In teaching people to enhance their soft skills in communication and to really get serious about teamwork, I have tried to help them regulate their use of that three – letter word. It’s probably the most frequently used word in group discussions and hardly anyone is conscious of how frequently it occurs. It’s also a very destructive little weapon, creating all sorts of troubles and tensions.

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Dr. Sandy Cotton

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Dr. Sandy Cotton taught leadership at the Queen’s University School of Business and the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario for about three decades. He is a permanent Deacon of the Anglican Church of Canada and continues to consult and lead workshops.


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