I was first introduced to the power of 'and' through my work with lululemon and my teacher Susanne Conrad, founder of Lightyear Leadership. In Susanne's words "'but' is a wall, 'and' is a bridge". Think about that for a moment. This concept is a well tuned habit at lululemon, if you were to walk the halls of the head office where I once worked, you will hear it in their conversations. It's a powerful use of language.
In my experience, this slight shift from using 'but' in our language to using 'and' can be a real game changer. 'And' leaves options open where 'but' implies limitations. 'And' is inclusive of ideas where 'but' provides questioning and criticism. 'And' keeps the momentum going where 'but' creates dead ends. 'And' carries us forward where 'but' holds us in doubt and stagnates. 'And' stokes a flame energy where 'but' snuffs it out.
Give it a try for yourself. In your next meeting or next conversation with a friend, sub in 'and' for 'but' and notice how it feels, see what it generates in your conversations.