The little word but packs a lot of power into its three letters. A small word that can divert your brain to pay attention almost exclusively to what follows it, whilst deleting or discounting whatever has been said ahead of it.
‘I hear your point, but…’
‘You have achieved several of your targets, but…’
‘I am happy with your performance on the project but…’
If you want to have more influence, you’ll find you get different outcomes when you substitute but with and.
For example, exchange:
‘I know you think I should consult the team but I need to make a decision really quickly on this and I don’t have time.’
‘I know you think I should consult the team and I need to make a decision really quickly on this and don’t have time.’
As an alternative, to encourage and motivate you might keep the ‘but’ and reorganise your sentence such that the positives that you wish to emphasise are after the but…Rather than:
‘You delivered two great client reports this month but missed the deadline on the third.’
you could offer:
‘You missed the deadline on one of the client reports this month but you delivered two great reports.’