We all love looking brilliant, especially in the workplace where we strive to get ahead! So, here are a few commonly used business phrases that may either make us look like a genius, or signal things aren’t quite right (you make the executive decision)!
“Let’s circle back to that.”
A variation is “Let’s touch base on that later.” When should you use this phrase? When you do not dare say in a meeting, “I realize you guys have no idea what I’m talking about. It won’t help me to make you to look stupid. So, let’s move on. I’ll try to help you see the light one-on-one later.”
“Let’s try to think outside of the box.”
This is becoming a little worn out, so maybe you’d prefer: “Let’s move beyond what everybody else knows.” When should you use this? When you do not dare say, “I cannot believe your lack of vision or ambition. You people are so stuck in your safe ruts that you are about to get left behind in the dust. People like you fought the automobile, light bulb and digital photography. You probably once said, ‘Why would anybody be interested in the Internet?’”
“This is next-gen.”
A variation is “This is plug-and-play.” This one must be updated constantly with new buzz words, but it’s effective. Your motive is to sound so impressively technical that they’ll just accept what you’re saying without asking questions that might make them look stupid.
“Hope is not a strategy.”
Beware when you hear this one. It means: “We don’t have a strategy either, but we want to sound smarter than you. You are threatening our safe little worlds and our political positions with your gut-feelings, hunches and other suspicious emotions seen in such dangerous people as Thomas Edison, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.”
“That’s not our core competency.”
Your ears should perk up when you hear this one. They’re saying: “We’re just glad we’re making money in one business, because we have absolutely no clue how to do anything else.” You’ve got your work cut out for you. Sell them on new possibilities. Or think about moving on.
“We need to monetize (or strategize, analyze, incentivize, etc.).”
This is one of those that also has to be updated frequently; listen for variations. The idea is to stick “ize” on the end of a word and declare the company must do it. Nine out of 10 times, it will sound action-oriented. Use sparingly.
“We need a few quick wins.”
Be careful when you hear this one. Translation: “We’ve got to convince people we know what we’re doing by scoring some successes that prove we know what we are doing.” But, frankly, it’s not a bad strategy.
“I want you to run with this.”
Some people run for their lives when told this by a supervisor. Translation: “I don’t have any idea how to make this work, so I am throwing you into the deep end of the pool. You’re on your own to figure it out.” Well, it’s your opportunity to shine. Be brilliant! Make the impossible happen!
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