Why You Need To Use “AND” If You Want To Advance Your Communication Skills

If you’re a leader who has to communicate in English or a foreign language,

DON’T believe your brain when it tells you this.

When it says: “It’s EITHER this OR this”.


Our brain works in black or white.

It rarely ventures into the land of shades of grey.


It will tell us:

  • You need to know more sophisticated words in English OR “they” will judge you.
  • You have to know ALL the answers, OR you’ll lose that client.
  • You have to do this presentation perfectly OR your career will be ruined.

It’s always one or the other. Either perfection or failure.


I know. Because my brain uses the same methods as yours.

And it creates a ton of needless pressure.

Before I changed lifestyle in 2013, my brain gave me a LONG list of arguments:

  • Kelly, you’re a CITY girl! You’re not made for the countryside!
  • You do know that you’re going to have to forget the high heels and wear wellies EVEERRRY day??!
  • How can you help build a house when you know NOTHING about DIY?
  • You’ve always worked for someone else and now you want to be your OWN boss??


Yes, my brain was exaggerating, catastrophizing and generally, in a huge panic!

But the craziest thing is actually this: progress is so rarely about one right and one wrong option.

There are plenty of possible pathways.

It’s just that our brain’s filter doesn’t shine a light on them.


So we have to force it to do so.

By dropping the EITHER/OR and believing in “AND”.


I decided that I wanted to:

  • Be a girl who loved the City AND the Countryside.
  • Not be a DIY expert AND manage to help my husband build our house.
  • Be my own boss AND use my previous corporate experience to help me.
  • Wear heels AND wellies. (Just not at the same time ;).

Because the truth is this:

  • You can make mistakes in English AND still transmit your message.
  • You can search for your words AND still create the impact you wanted.
  • You can feel nervous AND not make it mean that something is wrong with you or your English.


That’s a sustainable mindset for your learning journey.

Because it ignores the perfectionist cycle of unrealistic standards, self-judgement and worry, and focuses on what real progress is made of.

So keep reminding your brain when it starts to panic:

“Don’t forget the AND. “


Photo courtesy of: Kelly

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