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Meaningless Words To Not Say To Increase Meeting Productivity

Have you ever attended a seemingly regular meeting that left you feeling utterly exhausted?

Meetings are intended to be an engine of productivity in the workplace. They are a way for teams to huddle together to brainstorm ideas, fix issues, discuss future measures/plans and drive positive outcomes.

We’ve all experienced bad meetings, but some just feel more soul-sucking than others (meeting fatigue is a real thing!). Sometimes, it’s because of poor preparation or facilitation. Most of the other times, it is because of weak communication due to the excessive use of business jargons.

Business jargons mask real meaning, and sadly, it is often the go-to lingo for many industry professionals trying to sound smart. Such jargons can also be distracting and borderline disturbing.

Fortunately, there are ways to curb weak communication. For starters, we can all begin with avoiding these cliché buzzwords at work.

“Low-Hanging Fruit”

Instead of saying, “Let’s focus on the low-hanging fruit,” say, “What are the easiest measures we can kickstart right now? Let’s focus on those first.”

Food for thought: If you label an action as low-hanging fruit and you’re unable to execute and see results immediately, how is that a low-hanging fruit? If you think that you can use this phrase without consequences, you better think twice.

“Think Outside The Box”

Gosh, if I had a dollar for every time someone says this in a meeting, I’d be a millionaire by now.

There are three things you need to ask yourself before you tell anyone else to think outside the box: Why isn’t this working, how isn’t this working and if this was working, what should it look like? Until you get honest answers to these simple questions — forget the box, just think.

“Give Your 110%”

PSA: It is physically impossible to give your 110% because you cannot provide more than you are capable of delivering (unless you grow another arm or leg).

To tell someone to give more than 100% is also to tell them that you failed basic elementary math and you don’t understand how percentages work. What happened to good ol’fashion “do your very best”?

Using an impossible percentage doesn't mean anything. If you’re going over 100%, why stop there? Why not 250%? Why not ask for a gazillion percent? What are you, a slacker?

“Take It To The Next Level”

On paper, this means to make something better or to improve something by a great leap substantially. However, in reality, it means absolutely nothing. This is mainly because nobody knows what the next level actually looks like and, hence, whether or not they have reached it.

Instead of saying, “Let’s take things to the next level,” it’s more effective to say, “We need to reach our goal of 5,000. What can we do to improve our processes?”

At The End Of The Day

Think of how often you use some of these cliché buzzwords and see if you can catch yourself before you use them again. In a nutshell, every time you speak is another opportunity to make a lasting impression. For better or for worse,the power lies in your hands.


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