Question of the Week

Bring Your 'A' Game, Readers: What Are the Most Annoying Business Cliches?


This week, Valorem Law Group co-founder Patrick Lamb wrote about the “mumbo jumbo” that he encounters in vendor pitches. He quoted from an ironic radio ad for The Private Bank to make his point:

“Let’s touch base to arrange a little face time so we can appear fully engaged. Let’s be proactive, synergistic and leverage this thing. Better yet, let’s circle back and do a deep dive so we can empower a paradigm shift with a value added, team building, best of breed, Six Sigma, perfect storm that could go viral.”

Lawyers and businesspeople use these catchphrases as crutches “because it is easier to use a label than to explain what we really mean,” Lamb wrote. “I know I’ve been guilty of doing so, and as part of my spring cleaning, I’m trying hard to catch myself when I fall into the mumbo jumbo / label trap.”

So this week, we’d like to ask you: What are the most annoying business clichés? Do you regularly encounter colleagues or vendors who use these expressions without irony? Or (gasp) do you sometimes catch yourself using them? Feel free to consult The Encyclopedia of Business Clichés if you need inspiration or just want to see more examples.

Answer in the comments.

Read the answers to last week’s question: In Your City, Where Do You Find the Lawyers Who Lunch?

Featured answer:

Posted by Tommy Wells: “In Birmingham, Ala., a large number of lawyers and judges (both male and female) congregate at the Downtown YMCA for a workout rather than a lunch. If you want to know the latest legal community rumor, you find out at the Y.”

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