When language fails us at work, we can always rely on common phrases to fill the silence. They are often a cacophony of metaphors strung together to confuse you into thinking work is being done.
Such as the following:
“Let’s get the ball rolling and do a deep dive; then we can start to get our ducks in a row. This could be a game changer and we need to hit the ground running.”
Sound familiar? Like something from the office that requires its own Rosetta Stone tape? That is exactly what’s wrong with overusing metaphors to replace real conversation.
They lack clarity and make it easy to say something whilst also saying nothing at all. Plus, if you’re on the receiving end and you don’t really get metaphors, you might find yourself trying to source some ducks and roll balls down a hallway.
In order to avoid the phrases in this infographic, you need to say exactly what you mean, which requires actual knowledge about your chosen topic or work task. If you don’t have this knowledge, perhaps it’s best to say very little and ask for help from someone who does know what they’re doing.
Ideally, do not pick the person who uses phrases like “drill down”, “no brainer” or “low hanging fruit”. It is unlikely that this person will be able to help you.
Read more about working with difficult people here.