A quick step in the right direction for better business writing is to eliminate these buzz phrases from your speech entirely:
- Expect the unexpected”
Instead, try “If something happens we didn’t plan for, here are steps to take. If you run into something you aren’t sure how to deal with, call me and we’ll figure it out together.” Instead of stating a platitude, provide a framework for how decisions will be made and problems will be overcome.
- “With all due respect”
Yep. Let’s move on.
- “No problem”
- “At the end of the day”
Whenever you’re tempted to start a sentence with, “At the end of the day…” just skip ahead and start with your point instead. Then maybe we’ll actually pay attention your point.
Odds are, you don’t mean it, you mean merely different, at best somewhat innovative.
You either are transparent or you’re not. If you are, it goes without saying. People already know. And if you’re not, you might also be trying to…
- “Manage expectations”
Why not set and then try to meet expectations? That’s a lot better than “managing” them.
- “Give 120%”
I know; this one is just a way of indicating extra effort is required. But what kind of effort? What do you want me to do more of? What do you want me to do faster, or cheaper, or better? Explain the situation. Tell me why something is critical or important. Then tell me what I need to do to overcome the problem or meet the challenge. I won’t work hard for a platitude, but I will work hard when I understand the importance of my effort.
- “It is what it is.”