Whether you’re the CIO of a large company, or working in a small IT department, or a self-employed consultant, do you hide behind words like “anomoly”, “specifications” and “process”? I know that I’ve been guilty of a few of those, when a user has a problem with a spreadsheet or database that I’ve created. In The Naked CIO: Tech’s Weasel Words, the article’s author says, “We need to keep reducing the technical jargon that is so divisive and replace it with meaningful communication.”
My favourite point in the article is a communication tip that I learned long ago — avoiding the use of “but”.
“In my team I have outlawed people saying ‘but’. As in, “I understand what you are saying but…” or “That is a great idea but…”. It has no value and only harms attempts to build consensus.”
I try to replace “but” with “and”. It makes me think a bit harder before I reply, and the results are worth the effort.