At first, euphemisms surfaced in the workplace to help people deal with touchy subjects that were difficult to talk about. Before long, they morphed into corporate buzzwords that expanded and took over our vocabulary until our everyday conversations started sounding like they’re taking place on another planet,
“Listen Ray, I don’t have the bandwidth for it with everything that’s on my plate, but ping me anyway because at the end of the day it’s on my radar and I don’t want to be thrown under the bus because I didn’t circle back around on this no-brainer.”
I understand the temptation. These phrases are spicy and they make you feel clever (low hanging fruit is a crutch of mine), but they also annoy the hell out of people.
If you think that you can use these phrases without consequence, you’re kidding yourself. Just pay close attention to how other people react to your using them, and you’ll see that these phrases don’t cast you in a favorable light.
After all, TalentSmart has tested the emotional intelligence of more than a million people and one of the biggest need areas for most people is social awareness. Most of us are so focused on what we’re saying and what we’re going to say next that we lose sight of how our words affect other people. Increasing social awareness is a big component of emotional intelligence training.
So give this list a read, think of how often you use some of these words, and see if you can catch yourself before you use them again.
Have some fun with it, because at the end of the day if you don’t hit the ground running you can always go back to the drawing board and get the ball rolling…
1. At the end of the day
2. Back to the drawing board
3. Hit the ground running
4. Get the ball rolling
5. Low hanging fruit
6. Thrown under the bus
7. Think outside the box
8. Let’s touch base
9. Get my manager’s blessing
10. It’s on my radar
11. Ping me
12. I don’t have the bandwidth
13. No brainer
14. Par for the course
15. Bang for your buck
17. Move the goal post
18. Apples to apples
20. Circle back around
21. All hands on deck
22. Take this offline
24. Elephant in the room
25. On my plate
What phrases are your pet peeves? Please share them in the comments section.
It’ll also be fun to read the ridiculous sentences you can come up with using words from the list above (write them in the comments). I’ll send an autographed copy of my book to whoever comes up with the phrase that makes me laugh the hardest.
Because, after all, I learn just as much from you as you do from me.
Want to learn more from me? Check out my book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0.