Better idea generation. Increased collaboration. More respectful communication.
If you would like to see more of the above in your team, be the first to introduce a “But Bucket” at your team meetings.
What is a “But Bucket”, you ask?
A “But Bucket” is a learning anchor, used during meetings to help people see how frequently, yet often unconsciously, they used the word “but” during business conversations. Set the “but bucket” in the middle of the table. Get an agreement from everyone that they will pay €1 or $1 or whatever the local currency is, when they use the word “but”. Nobody will go broke from the exercise and you can put the money in the coffee fund or donate to a local charity. What you will see is how often people use “but” and don’t even know it.
Why pay when you use but, you might ask.
But is a derailleur, a distractor and sometimes downright disrespectful. For example:
“I really like your idea, but I don’t think you will be able to make it a commercial success.”
“We need more strategic clarity, but we just don’t have the time to slow down and work it out.”
Starting a sentence and then dropping but into it means I do not really like or believe your idea and I’ll use but to gently disagree.
But is an obstacle to creative thinking and productive collaboration, not to mention hindering trust.
What’s a useful alternative? Use “and” instead of “but” or think through, what you really want to say before you say it.
Let me know how your “But Bucket” worked at your team meeting. Send me a photo with your team and your “But Bucket”, and I’ll send you a copy of my new book “Executive Ownershift”, Creating Highly Effective Leadership Teams”. This applys to the first five teams that respond. No buts about it.