We all have one bad habit or the other when it comes to communicating. We tend to use one or two phrases way too often in our speech. While in informal context it is sometimes acceptable, you can’t be so lenient with yourself in business writing.

The problem in the business world is that if you use a few phrases a little too much or stumble or try including new phrases and clichés in your language, you won’t be taken seriously. Your words will not have an impact. Worse still, people will forget about the point you wanted to make and think only about how many times you repeated a particular phrase. I have seen plenty of speakers [who had something very informative to say], become the laughing stock because of such habits.

Listed below are a few phrases that are used a lot.

Expect the Unexpected

Look at this phrase logically and you will see that it actually does not make any sense. The reason why it is used so commonly is that it is catchy. However, ask yourself how one can expect something that he is actually not expecting? It sounds stupid.

Instead of saying something like this, it is ideal for you to be friendlier and more understanding. Put your word across like this: If something that we haven’t planned for does occur, you may take the following steps.

At the End of the Day

This has been overused so much that it now literally stinks. When you begin a sentence with these words you can almost be certain that you won’t be paid attention to at all. When you feel like starting a sentence with this phrase, my advice would be to eliminate it [not replace it] and begin with the main sentence.

No Problem!

“No problem” is NOT the answer your customers want to hear when they come to you with a problem. Put yourself in their shoes and think how you’d like it if you were told the same when you had a problem!

Give your 200%

What’s that now? It is important to be specific when you convey to your employees that you want them to work harder for a particular project or task. Explain to your employees exactly what you expect from them instead of stating plainly that you want 200% effort from them so that they know what to do.

Your employees need to understand why a particular task is so important that they need to double their efforts. Keep them in the dark and just say you want 200% and you won’t get even 50%!

Avoid using these phrases and be more specific instead. That will help you make your point.

Entrepreneurial Learning

In business writing and speaking, it is highly important that you polish your communication skills and get rid of fillers and overused phrases. Only when your language is highly professional and sans such phrases will your employees and customers take you seriously.

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