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Annoying Workplace Phrases to Avoid

A boss using annoying workplace phrases with employees

Ever felt annoyed by cliché, overly used corporate lingo and phrases? It turns out that a lot of individuals and team members are feeling the same. Good communication in a workplace means everything, but the key to good communication may mean letting go of unappealing business jargon. In a recent poll conducted by Slack, 63 percent of respondents stated that workplace jargon used by colleagues is off-putting. Here is a look at some of the most annoying workplace phrases to avoid in your corporate communication efforts.

Most Overused Business Buzzwords to Avoid

1. “Keep me in the loop”

Why avoid it: Simply put, the phrase is both redundant and gives the wrong impression. You are quietly implying that you have to ask to be informed because you don’t trust the listener to offer information freely.

Instead, try: Offering a specific time and place to revisit the topic. For example, “Could you give me an update by [certain day]?”

2. “Think outside the box”

Why avoid it: The phrase is highly overused and, ironically, one of the least creative ways to ask for more innovative solutions.

Instead, try: “Let’s look at out-of-the-norm solutions” or “Be creative.”

3. “It’s on my radar”

Why avoid it: You’re basically saying you recognize there is an issue that needs your attention, but you have not given it much attention. You are not supplying a definitive idea or set of parameters about when something will be handled.

Instead, try: Something along the lines of, “I recognize the issue, and I am working to rectify the situation.”. Doing so will not only build trust within your organization but also improve the team’s communication.

4. “Touch base”

Why avoid it: Saying you will touch base later is vague. You are not offering a specific date or time and give the impression that revisiting a topic is not all that important.

Instead, try: Simply offer a more concrete idea of how you will maintain communication. For example, “Can we reconnect at [time] to discuss this further?”

5. “Just a friendly reminder”

Why avoid it: Reminders with this terminology rarely come across as “friendly.” Instead, you are exuding an almost passive-aggressive attitude or sense that you are irritated.

Instead, try: “How is the project/progress going,” or, “A reminder that.”

6. “Be a team player”

Why avoid it: Telling someone to be a team player almost always comes across as being passively aggressive and bossy.

Instead, try: Offering words of encouragement, such as, “You are such a valuable part of the team,” or, “With your skill sets, we can pull together to tackle this.”

7. “ASAP”

Why avoid it: You are communicating that you need something urgently, but urgency means something unique to each individual. In other words, you’re not offering a clear expectation of when you want something accomplished.

Instead, try: Requesting something by a specific time that represents ASAP to you personally. For example, “Is there any way possible you could get this to me within [x number] hours?”

Improve Workplace Communications with Learn2

Learning corporate buzzwords to avoid is just one element of enhancing communication in the workplace. Adopting other proven strategies to keep communication positive can make a world of difference, and Learn2 can help. Connect with Learn2 to learn more about how to improve communication in the workplace.

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