30 Overused Business Words and Phrases


There are many words and phrases we hear during daily business meetings that we hear repeatedly. A recent Reddit post sought to learn the most annoying business words and phrases.

Outside the Box

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Thinking outside the box means thinking differently or thinking harder. Don’t go on the typical path. Redditors commented though, that in corporate lingo, this never actually means “creative ideas.” It usually just means “rephrase the same” stuff and do “unpaid overtime.”

It’s Like Herding Cats

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Few people have to herd cats, but the implication is that trying to get everyone aligned and going in the same strategic direction is tough.

You Need to Be Results-Oriented

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Every action has a reaction, and every decision has an outcome, but for some reason, corporate managers and leaders want to remind everyone of that in corporate lingo.

Move the Needle

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A project needs to be large enough to make a difference.

We’re Looking To Hire Ninjas, Gurus, and Rockstars

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Just be good at your job and that’s all we can ask for.

“In an Effort to Streamline the Process”

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Simplifying things is always good, but “streamlining the process” has definitely become overused.

Big Picture

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As opposed to a small picture, take a step back and understand the overall goal, strategy, vision, etc.

See the Forest for the Trees

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It’s really just a way of saying to see the big picture. When you look at a forest, do you see the forest as a whole, or do you only see the individual trees?

30,000 Foot View

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Yet another way to say see the “big picture.”


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And synergize! Find the ways 1+1=3.

Let’s Touch Base Offline

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Considering that remote work is all online these days, this phrase hasn’t aged well. But even before 2020, when it meant talking about something after a meeting, it really was just another way of saying “you’re wasting time in this meeting. Let’s move on.”

Thought Leader

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Someone in the Reddit thread said that “thought leader” sounded like something out of sci-fi. It just means someone influential who shares their thoughts.

Missed Opportunities

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Another way of saying a leader regrets not picking a more profitable decision that would have gotten them a promotion.

Let’s Circle Back

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When you’re in a meeting and someone wants to talk about something again, they’ll say “let’s circle back.” Sometimes it’s a way for someone who likes to talk to have the spotlight back on them.

I Don’t Have the Bandwidth Right Now

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Although it sounds like you have slow internet, this is a common excuse for not being able to do work. It is a corporate-appropriate way of saying “No” and not getting fired.

We’re Under-Resourced Right Now

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Another way for a manager of a team to also say “No” to new projects.


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One poster said this is just another way to say “write on a whiteboard.”


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While a lever may be a marvelous simple machine, the word “leverage” has become overused in corporate.

Low Hanging Fruit

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Low-hanging fruit is basically doing the simplest things that will drive the largest impact, the Pareto principle. However, one commentor asked, “What about high standing vegetables?”

Please Provide Some Color on That

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This phrase should be removed from corporate lingo in this day and age since it’s just another word for “elaborate.”

Stay In Your Swim Lane

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People don’t like when you start doing their work, so they might say, “stay in your swim lane” even if they are doing a poor job.


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This has nothing to do with farming. When teams don’t talk to each other, they become “siloed” and work slows down.


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When teams aren’t “siloed” they work together or “cross-functionally.”

Half-Baked Idea

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A great way to gently say, “spend more time thinking about that” or “that’s a dumb idea.”

Best Practices

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Even if it “contradicts common sense, but someone wrote something saying we have to do it this way.”


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It means, “that’s not what we’re paying you for.”

Let’s Stick a Pin in It

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It’s not important right now so we’ll talk about it later.

Institutional Knowledge

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When a team or team member has been around a long time, they know a lot about how the company and teamwork so losing them means you’ll lose all of the “institutional knowledge” that they have gained.

That’s Above My Paygrade

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Basically another way of saying “I don’t feel comfortable making that decision” or “I’ll get fired if I make that decision.”

Teach Them to Fish

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Pulled straight from a Chinese proverb and alluded to in the Bible, the implication is that you teach someone how to do something instead of doing it for them.

This post was inspired by this thread.

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20 Words and Phrases From Decades Ago That Are No Longer Used

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A young person on Reddit wanted to know what slang or phrases were used by older generations but are no longer used. They asked the r/AskOldPeople subbreddit and this is what people said they missed.

20 Words and Phrases From Decades Ago That Are No Longer Used

10 Worst Things About Owning an Electric Vehicle

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Electric vehicles (EVs) have become all the rage in the last few years, with many established car companies launching their versions of electric vehicles. But are they really that good? We learned from a Reddit thread about the disadvantages of owning an electric vehicle.

10 Worst Things About Owning an Electric Vehicle

12 Unspoken Rules That Are Not Completely Obvious

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Some social rules are obvious, while others are not. A recent Reddit thread asked users to write in about what social rules existed that were not necessarily obvious.

12 Unspoken Rules That Are Not Completely Obvious

How to Fight a Speeding Ticket: The Ultimate Guide

Speeding Ticket

Many people think that fighting a speeding ticket is easy. After all, who wants to pay a fine when they weren’t even doing anything wrong? Unfortunately, this is one of those situations where ignorance is bliss. You might be able to beat a speeding ticket, but only if you take the proper steps.

How To Fight a Speeding Ticket: The Ultimate Guide

23 British Phrases That Are Confusing to Americans

Young Man In Detestation
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America was once under Britain’s rule, but the two countries’ languages have changed dramatically.

23 British Phrases That Are Confusing to Americans

15 of the Worst Cities in America, According to Reddit

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A Reddit thread posted a few months back asked a simple question, “What city is the worst in America?” A whopping 594 comments followed, and here are the worst cities according to those posters.

15 of the Worst Cities in America, According to Reddit

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