10 annoying office cliches all managers should avoid

By November 27, 2017Management & HR
Management & HR office cliches to avoid saying

Work long enough, and you’ll encounter it: office speak. At first you don’t notice it. Then slowly but surely, you’re using words like “leverage” and “upsell.” It happens to the best of us. Still, the first step in addressing the problem, is realizing you have a problem.

Here is an illustrated guide to ten annoying office cliches, which proves that when it comes to office speak, it’s usually best to keep things simple.

Low-hanging fruit

Grabbing the low-hanging fruit in a vineyard is a straightforward proposition. At work, that proverbial “fruit” represents the easiest or most obvious tasks. The question is, if the task is easy or obvious, why do you need to bring it up? Skip this cliche – unless your office really does have fruit hanging from the ceiling, in which case we envy you.

Low Hanging Fruit

Run it up the flagpole

The idea here is to figuratively run an idea up a flagpole to see who salutes it. Otherwise known as “tell people about it.”

Run it up the flagpole

Peel back the layers of the onion

Everyone knows that onions have multiple layers. So what do you gain from metaphorically peeling them back at work?

Square the circle

Referring to a problem in ancient geography, squaring the circle effectively requires one to carry out the impossible. Get ready, because this project might just require a miracle!

Square the circle

Reinvent the wheel

Also known as “let’s keep things simple.”

Reinvent the wheel

Break down silos

What exactly are silos? And how do you break them down? Could it be that you’re just asking to improve processes and talk to people more?

Break down silos

Pushing the envelope

This expression came from the US Air Force. It originally meant pushing an aircraft beyond its known or recommended limits.

Pushing the envelope

Ducks in a row

Ducks are orderly creatures who swim in a row. You don’t need to bring them up every time you organize your filing cabinet.

Ducks in a row

Play hardball

Do people really play hardball? Most often this is used in a negotiation setting, so it’s possible the hardball player you’re referring to is just “negotiating.”

Play hardball

Keep me in the loop

This phrase assumes there is a loop in your office, which means the silos must already have been broken down effectively.

Keep me in the loop

See also:
Bad email habits you need to break
9 tips for having difficult conversations with your employees

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