Using ‘and’ When Criticizing Someone

A typical employee/customer/supplier critique sounds something like this:

“Johnny, I really appreciate your work in shipping.  You are organized and conscientious and people like you around here, BUT you are coming in late too often, and that needs to stop.”

Here’s the interesting thing – whenever you insert BUT into your critique, the person tends not to hear all the things you said before the BUT.  To that person, it seems that the BUT disqualifies any good things that you said.  BUT kills and negates everything else, and makes it hard for the person to take your constructive criticism as anything but a serious failure on their part.

A quick and simple way to fix that is to replace the word BUT with AND.  Your new, better way sounds something like this:

“Johnny, I really appreciate your work in shipping.  You are organized and conscientious and people like you around here, AND I have also noticed that you are coming in late quite often, and I need that part to stop.”

Using AND allows that person to see your comments as a whole and give you a much better chance of correcting the behaviour without crushing the person.

Try this and you’ll see it works.

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