Get Your "But" Out

Positive reinforcement goes a long way to encouraging people to excel. Unfortunately, too many people's efforts are undermined by what is all too often literally a careless word.

We remember well living and working in Germany, with Americans but among Germans. Germans are nothing if not consistent. An encouraging word was an encouraging word, and that was that. Not so the Americans. For some reason, they were never content to offer a word of encouragement and just leave it at that. There was always a "but".

"Hey, you did pretty well this week, but..."

"That's a good idea, but..."

So often, we were tempted to tell the offender to just "but" out. What's the point of praise if it's followed by a criticism or pointing out a deficiency?

When you walk, just walk;
when you sit, just sit;
above all, don't wobble.


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