Business Cliches – No Thank You! I accept it could be a generational thing. Perhaps I’m turning into a Grumpy Old Man. When I started out on my business career all those years ago I remember we transacted in plain English. Language was direct, easy to understand and cliche free. I’ve spent most of my career visiting other people’s offices and places of work. My perception is that it’s only in the last twenty or so years that the business cliche has become king. I claim the right – here on this Blog that I gave birth to five years ago – to have a rant and a rail against my top ten hated business cliches. But being a generous sort of chap, I offer alternative phrases you can use instead – please!
Here we go, my top 10 business cliches and how to avoid them …..
My Top Ten Business cliches
Take to the Next Level. Alternative: ‘We need to apply more focus and resources to this‘.
Low Hanging Fruit. Alternative: ‘We should look for some early successes, but not at the expense of progress‘.
Touch Base. Alternative: ‘We need to check progress on this‘.
Reach Out. Alternative: ‘It’s time to make contact with someone who can help you with this‘.
Going Forward. Alternative: ‘In the future‘.
Not Enough Bandwidth. Alternative: ‘We need to find who has the capability and capacity to deal with this‘.
Deep Dive. Alternative: ‘We should complete a more thorough examination of this before proceeding‘.
At the End of the Day. Alternative: ‘On reflection‘.
Take it Offline. Alternative: ‘Let’s not use up everybody’s time on this when we can talk about it one-to-one‘.
To Be Honest. Alternative: No good alternative to this – the implication is the speaker has not been fully open and honest up to now!
According to a 2019 survey run by TrustRadius, nearly 4 out of 10 people hear business jargon, cliches, and buzzwords often in a typical work day. On top of that more than 2 out of 10 said they hear buzzwords way too much. Only around 1 in 20 respondents survived a full workday free of business jargon. Wow.
One of my early articles on this Blog was called Executive Presence. I spoke about conveying an image that commands respect and attention from others. This is the antithesis of the Buzzword Bores I’ve been talking about here. Maybe I should call it Executive Absence, ha ha!
There. Rant over, and I feel so much better for it. Thanks for reading up to this point. You Have a Nice Day Now!!