Say What You Mean – But and However


Prior briefings discussed “Junk Words and Phrases”, how you should focus on eliminating them from your vocabulary and from all customer communications. Remember that Junk Words and Phrases are just extra words that creep into our language, but they provide no context or meaning. Without them, your verbal communication will just sound clearer and more professional.


Let’s look at the junk word “BUT”. When a “BUT” is interjected into statement, it completely reverses the context. 


Let’s say you are responding to a customer idea, and you say: 

“You believe that is the best approach, BUT there are issues with getting it to work.” 


The “BUT” you inserted into that sentence just negated what you said before it… That’s right, one little word… Everything you said prior to “BUT” is rendered unimportant and often signals that “I don’t agree with you”.


Oh, HOWEVER is not a good substitute for BUT. HOWEVER has the same negative effect. 


“You believe that is the best approach, HOWEVER, there are issues with getting it to work.” 


Instead of BUT or HOWEVER, replace these words with “AND”.


Here’s your revised response: 

“You believe that is the best approach, AND let’s discuss issues we might have with getting it to work.” 


It’s a slight change… AND signifies a continuation; AND invites further discussion without negating what anyone has said or showing a disagreement.


Eliminate BUT or HOWEVER from your message to stop sending mixed signals in your communications.


I’m DJ Sebastian. To learn more about my online course that will help you become a Great Communicator, visit my website at