We all use the word “but” all the time, often without thinking about it. That word has an energy of resistance to it. It shuts down whatever thought you just had, or whatever idea someone else recently proposed. This can make you feel like you’re not allowed to have other thoughts, and it can make the person you’re talking with feel like you’re shutting them down.

What if there was an easy way to help inclusive thinking and communicating? There is: by switching your “buts” to “ands.”

The truth is that we can hold seemingly opposing ideas at the same time. I might have a valid point, and someone might have another idea. Both can be true, and using the word “and” reminds us, our brains, and the person you’re speaking with that all ideas can be allowed.

In this episode, Leadership Coach Deb Elbaum shares her thoughts behind this simple, yet powerful, leadership communication strategy, and why job seekers and interviewees especially need this advice. If you want to hear more about the importance of changing your “buts” to “ands,” and what I’m calling the AND challenge, press the play button now.