Take Out the Trash – Say Goodbye to Garbage-Speak

This past week an intersectionality of coincidences took up my bandwidth, providing me with key learnings…

What the cuss does that mean?

A friend sent me an article on how delightful it would be if we could end corporate-speak (referred to in this article as garbage-speak) and I was asked to coach a client whose zealous use of corporate and/or garbage-speak was interfering with his ability to convey his message.

Isn’t it easier to say what you mean?

I think so, which is why The Wow Factor listed a number of corporate words and phrases I never need to hear again (“out of the box thinking” “drill down” “operationalize”) and requested you keep a list of phrases people can’t forget.

What kinds of phrases am I talking about?

Here are three of my favorites:

  • “This is not the ditch to die in” – useful when others have lost sight of the big picture.
  • “Spare me the labor pains. Show me the baby.” – tightens things up when others get bogged down in extraneous detail.
  • “You can’t really tell who’s skinny dipping until the tide goes out.” – an evocative way to get people wondering if an idea will stand up to scrutiny.

Fun, yes?

If you think so, too, I invite you to take out your trash and send along any phrases you’ve found particularly evocative/inspiring/hilarious.

I look forward to adding them to my list.


Looking for phrases to cool things down when it gets hot? Take a look at “How so? And Other Gambits to Keep You Out of Hot Water”