There is nothing more thrilling than a business conversation filled with business cliches. I don’t know if it’s familiarity provoking a feeling of stability, or just knowing that you are navigating the seas of business in a conversational comfort zone.
In fact, in a recent Atlantic article, Emma Green writes that “…office speak can help you figure out how you relate to your work – and how your work defines who you are.”
And so to put you in the best position to capitalize on this cliched vibe, with tongue-in-cheek, the following are 5 business cliches you should use as much as possible.
Rest assured, if you are in a conversation or a meeting, and someone mentions that something is “in their wheelhouse,” you know that they are truly capable of getting things done.
Like a money back guarantee, wheelhouse lets you know that not only can they do the work, they can really really do the work.
This is most likely why Mitt Romney rolled out this phrase at every opportunity during his 2012 presidential campaign. He did the right thing by taking seriously the responsibility to make sure that we all “believe in America” because, with him in office, everything would be within our collective wheelhouse. ‘Merica
2. Reach Out
Not only am I going to contact you. I am going to reach out to you.
This phrase not only makes others feel that you are communicating, it makes them believe you are actually connecting. Your relationship isn’t set in pencil, it is set in stone.
Pushed further, this phrase works well with your boss, because when you say you are reaching out, your boss knows that your efforts carry the extra weights of care and concern. You aren’t just shooting off a template email, you are reaching out with intent.
Reaching out = Leadership
If there is a place you need to put something, you better use the Bozo the Clown, “Grand Prize Game” approach, and drop ping pong balls of whatever ya’ got into a bucket.
Heck, you can sweat buckets
…and even write a book about how full your bucket is
4. Tee Up
Tee up is essentially a way to say that you are going to schedule a meeting.
You’ll want to use this cliche as much as possible, because any opportunity to improve upon just saying you need to schedule a meeting should provoke a golf reference.
This one is especially effective on Thursdays and Fridays, the first two days of most golf tournaments, and especially useful if you know Tiger Woods is playing that weekend.
And with so many golf jokes featuring Jesus or God as avid players, I’ve heard that the usage of this cliche has provoked the unveiling of rainbows, and the rumor is that if you wear a green jacket while using this cliche, the ghost of Bobby Jones will appear at your desk saying, “If you schedule it, they will come.”
Nobody can ever have too much context, and if you are going to add context, you might as well use the word context to make sure everyone understands you are adding context.
Yet here is a great danger with the word context, it is often confused with its outside-of-the-lines cliche cousin, parenthetically. Context adds perceived relevant information to aid in the discussion of the topic at hand. Parenthetically gives you the opportunity to insert unrelated thoughts midstream.
Or, context often helps a discussion, and parenthetically allows you to say whatever you want, most often in the form of venting or pop culture references.
Bonus Tip: You are a cliche top dog if you are able to both add context to a sentence (with coworkers, like the dude who won’t shut up about his standing desk), and use a parenthetical comment at the same time.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. At minimum I want you to know that our Oneupweb team is not only comprised of talented digital marketers, we’re also well versed in the nuances of sarcasm, and we enjoy making each other laugh.
In fact, my teammate Freddy believes that each workplace has its own cliches, and he keeps an actual list of ours.
Nuance, caveat, minutia, pain points, guard rails (can we start saying “Sausage and Hashbrowns” instead of “meat and potatoes?”)
And although I try to fight the good fight by avoiding these cliches, I’ve used them all, and most likely will continue to use them all.
It takes a digital marketing village to write a blog post, and I’d like to thank everyone on our team for helping and laughing this one to completion.
What cliches do you love and hate? Leave a comment, our team would love to hear about ’em!