Are you sometimes annoyed when you hear certain words used so often they seem to be devoid of all meaning? I’m thinking of course of words like “tired”, “stressed” and “challenging”. We hear them all the time and they very soon descend into the category of cliché.
They annoy me too and they are a particular danger in the world of work, especially in consultancy where I spend a lot of my time. Business jargon is all too easy to slip into and the risk of failing to communicate with clients is a very real one.
So my challenge to everyone in business is to rise to the challenge of either finding another word which still has some life in it. If that’s not possible then simply find other ways of keeping your communications fresh, original and therefore effective.
In other words, get outside the comfort zone of depending on the norm and get some originality back into your thinking.
Of course, this doesn’t need to apply only to the field of communications. By adopting a challenger model for all business activities it’s possible to continually break new ground and “move things on to another level”. You see what I mean – it’s so easy to forget and just use the first phrase that comes to mind!
As I’ve said before, a particularly useful tool in business is a review and I would suggest it has some value in this discussion. By stopping to carry out a review of your business you give yourself the opportunity to analyse what’s happening and put some checks and balances in place to stop unhelpful trends.
We are none of us perfect of course so the discipline of an exercise can help most of us to self-correct and keep to the script. In this way we can ensure we are keeping to plan and improving our businesses in line with our own growth targets and overall objectives.
All of this can be easy to say of course and yet very difficult to achieve in reality. By constantly guarding against the danger of falling into the comfort zone, we give ourselves a better chance of creating something worthwhile and exceeding the expectations of the most demanding client.
As you all surely know, there’s always a simple expression to cover all eventualities in business and in this case I think it might be “no pain no gain”. At the end of a busy day, make that extra phone call or ask that question that’s been on your agenda for far too long. You never know, that action might be the one that makes the vital difference to the performance of your business.
So next time you find yourself slipping into a familiar and comfortable rut – jump out quickly before it gets too deep and find yourself another route!