Practical Theory - The Origin
The Scholars in CyberEnglish
ToDaY's MeNu - Ted

Monday, June 30, 2008

Yes, but

How often have you heard or read these two words, "Yes, but"? How do you feel when you hear or see them? Why do you use them?

Think about some of your conversations and written communications. How often has "yes, but" been used?

Keep count of the times you hear or read "yes, but," in an hour, a day at work or online. Pay attention to the use of "yes, but" and to what effect those words have on the conversation.

"'Yes," I agree with your ideas, "but" mine are better,' is what "yes, but" does.

I have found the use of "yes, but" is too common a combination of words when ideas about education are exchanged. Those words could be used between colleagues, in a class, at a meeting, or in a conversation. They could be used by an administrator to a teacher. What these two words, "yes, but" tell me is the person who speaks them isn't listening. The "yes" suggests the speaker hears what is said and then too quickly uses "but" to show contrary ideas or thoughts. Instead of figuring out how to incorporate a new idea or even opposing idea, the speaker of "yes, but" is too quick to dismiss the other and espouse hir own ideas. "Yes, but" tells me the speaker has not heard what the other person said, has not considered the ideas or words, and maybe incapable oif fully comprehending, so instead pushes hir own agenda or ideas. "Yes, but" tells me the speaker is only interested in what s/he has to say and is not listening. "Yes, but" is a cop out from thinking and negotiating in a true scholarly exchange of ideas. "Yes, but" tells me the other person isn't thinking about new ideas.

Think about the last time you were excited about an idea and you were sharing that idea, only to hear, "yes, but." Think about the last time someone else shared an idea with you and you used the two words, "yes, but." Think about the the feelings you felt when you heard the words used towards your idea. Think about the last time you used "yes, but."

"Yes, but" are two very debilitating words in any conversation. Pay attention to how often you hear or read these two words, "yes, but." What do these two words do?

Try this experiment. Whenever you find yourself about to say, "yes, but" rephrase your response and see how the conversation actually continues instead of being shut down.

Just say no to "yes, but."

No comments: