When I hear people in the rooms using the words “but, try, or can’t”, I immediately realize that I’m dealing with a person who is engaging in doublespeak.
First, there are the yes butters. They’re the ones who come to you for suggestions or advice. After spending a few minutes with them sharing your experience, strength and hope, they respond by replying, “yes but”. Although the yes signifies that they agree with you, that “but” essentially cancels out everything you said. Yet, they really don’t understand why they stay stuck. In their minds they diligently seek out advice and listen carefully.
Second are the “I’ll try” group. They are the ones who don’t seem to be able to commit to anything. When pressed to make a commitment, they respond with “I’ll try”. For example, when they say, “I’ll try to come to the meeting”, you might think that they made a commitment. In their eyes they are really saying no but they wanted to let you down easy.
Finally are people who respond with “I can’t”, which actually contain 2 possibilities. Either they don’t know how to, or they don’t want to. When pressed, you can usually find out which option is really available.
Most importantly, pay attention to your own doublespeak quotient.
Personal Reflection: How much doublespeak do I still engage in?