For some years many years ago I worked for a very successful US company, which is now part of HP. There was a popular saying in the company: “everything before but is bullshit”.
What this meant to me was that we should look out for the occasions when people might try to soften the impact of saying something tough by saying a list of positive things first. The saying drew awareness to a lack of directness and a tendency to evade.
I also remember reading somewhere that women use the word “and” at the beginning of sentences more than men do. Men engaged in a conversation will often start a sentence “But…”. Where women will respond “And…”.
The suggestion is that women are trying to build on what has just been said, where men are trying to knock it down.
Thinking about these words – “and” and “but” – puts me in mind of Conscious Business.
Conscious Businesses aim to put people and their development and growth first. And they aim to make very decent profits.
People who work in Conscious Business seek wealth. And health. And psychological well-being. And relationships.
Conscious Businesses seek to provide real value to employees. And to customers.
Today’s customers. And tomorrow’s. And people who might never be customers but who share the same planet with us.
Conscious business is also about communicating clearly, directly and congruently. It’s about less bullshit.
It’s also about taking action. Despite our fears that we might not get where we want to go. Getting past the excuses.
So not about buts. All about and.