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Annoying clichés you MUST stop using at work

We’re all guilty of peppering a cliche here and there, but at work, these should all be avoided at work, lest you make eyes around you roll.

Adios, overused clichés

Clichés come and go, thank goodness, and there a lot of them that should go now. I absolutely hate it when someone says to me, “with all due respect,” because it generally means that they think they’re going to say something offensive.

If you think it’s offensive, maybe it shouldn’t be said. Here are some other phrases you might want to consider kicking out of your vocabulary, especially in the business world:

  1. Just sayin’– This one might be fine for casual conversation, but try to be more professional when you’re speaking to colleagues or supervisors. It just sounds disrespectful to my ears.
  2. YOLO – If you need a reason to act stupid, don’t announce to your co-workers. Think twice before YOLO at work.
  3. Think outside the box – We get it. You want us think about what’s not been done. This one is so tired (how tired is it?) that it has excessive fatigue and needs medical treatment.
  4. Synergy – Does anyone who uses this word actually know what it means? According to, synergy is a state in which two or more things work together in a particularly fruitful way. This word is overused and misused to sound pretentious.
  5. Empower – In the workplace this word can backfire. It means to give authority to do something. Many times, it’s used to let employees feel like they have power, but not really.
  6. Thanks in advance – This phrase can come off as demeaning in the workplace. It’s kind of like saying “I know this thing sucks, but you better do it.” A more polite method might be to say, “Thank you for handling this. I know it’s not the most exciting job, but I appreciate it.”

That said, let us end with the wisdom of Buddha who once said, “Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.”

Dawn Brotherton is a Sr. Staff Writer at The American Genius with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Oklahoma. She is an experienced business writer with over 10 years of experience in SEO and content creation. Since 2017, she has earned $60K+ in grant writing for a local community center, which assists disadvantaged adults in the area.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Sam Chapman

    May 20, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    This needs to be added: you know what I’m sayin?

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