But & And

"But" tends to cancels out or discount what was said earlier and it sets up room for an argument "And" tends to build on what has been said and it promotes idea generation and the feeling of teamwork.

Example 1

Coachee:   Yes I agree with you BUT it is not as simple as that because...  
Coach:   You are contradicting yourself, you agree on one hand and you disagree on the other. What do you mean by that?  

The key to change is to draw the coachee to self-awareness of his language pattern. It is more powerful allowing the coachee to see it himself than to point it out to him point blank.

Example 2

Coach:   You said your boss is supportive?  
Coachee:   He is definitely supportive BUT at times I find that he does not really listen to my ideas and always say that it is not feasible.  
Coach:   So is he really as supportive as you describe him to be?  

The coach points to a contradiction in the coachee and invites him to clarify his statement.

Example 3

Coach:   Over the last 10 minutes you have mentioned a total of more that 10 "BUT"s. Are you aware of that?  
Coachee:   Is that right? I didn't notice it.  
Coach:   Does that language pattern occur in other parts of your conversation with others?  
Coachee:   I'm not too sure.  
Coach:   What might others think when they hear you talk this way?  
Coachee:   Well they might think I'm just being polite agreeing with them when in actual fact I don't.  
Coach:   What's the implication on this to you?  

The coach is trying to draw the coachee to be aware of his pattern of thinking and invites him to explore the implications on it.

Example 4

Coach:   So work is completely fine with you and you are happy with what is happening in you life?  
Coachee:   Yes I'm happy but I could be happier if I had a promotion.  
Coach:   What is the difference if you replace the "But" with the word "And"?  
Coachee:   I guess if I use "But" I'm not really happy.  


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Author: Wai K Leong
Publisher: JMC

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Empowering Asian Mindsets Through Coaching

Publisher: Pelanduk Publishing Company
Book Size: 5.4 MB or 228 pages

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Book Launch Gallery

Hosted by Pn. Sri Tessie Lim @ The Royal Lake Club on 29 August 2008

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I am always impressed with Wai's ability to be with the client and coach them from where they are. He brings clarity and authenticity to his coaching. He is able to reach the heart of the matter with grace and skill.

Joanne Waldman
M.Ed, PCC, LPC, NCC New Perspective Coaching

Wai has a very professional Coaching Presence. He consistently listens on a deep level-he has a true talent here. He moves his client skillfully to Designing Actions, based on the client's focus. He is very honoring of his clients and asks good follow-up questions.

Sheri Boone
MCC, CL Inspired Mastery