July 24 - See No / Hear No / Speak No Evil
photo credit: Rob Gallop

In business it is always important to speak with authority but also intelligence and some compassion to your listeners. Certain words and phrases not only make you look insensitive but also can make you look a little lower on the intelligence poll. Below are a few examples of words that one should not use in business.

●People manager. This is a term that is used when your desperately trying not to offend anyone. This makes managers feel less like a manager and more like a goldfish supervisor.
●And/or. Which ultimately means one or the other, so pick one unless you really have no idea what your trying to say.
●Take away. Are you working in a fast food place? Because you take away food in a paper bad, that’s it.
●Out of pocket. This is used by people to basically say they are “away”, then say that. Otherwise everyone will assume there is a giant pocket somewhere that you couldn’t get back into.

Individual The five-syllable “Individual” reduces us to police speak, “The individual exited the vehicle” instead of “He got out of the car.” Like the word “troop” for “soldier,” it’s a way to distance the speaker from actual people, which is potentially useful if you want to say “30,000 troops were lost,” which sounds far less bloody than “30,000 soldiers died.” In business, “individual” gives me a similar chill. Especially in the phrase that unites two words from this list: “We value the individual.” We all know what that means.

Can you think of other words not use in business?

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