(Drill Down is an annoying business term and is just one of the 212 Most Annoying Business Phrases Managers Effuse, Confuse, and Overuse detailed in the hilarious must-have guide for every workplace: The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room. Available right now on Amazon.)
When clarity is necessary, managers will often ask you to drill down on something. The meaning is usually clear: They want more information, and they believe this information is hidden or otherwise beyond the superficial view they’ve been provided.
Sounds fine, right? Actually, it is. Drill down, by itself, is not necessarily an annoying business term. Drill down can be a useful direction provided from a supervisor.
However, as with so many terms in this book, drill down morphs to have an almost ubiquitous meaning, and becomes something managers clutch onto… and never let go. Suddenly, you find yourself being asked to drill down on anything and everything – without a verifiable need for more information.
Drill down becomes a catchall phrase for everything from approving an invoice to simply reading a document. “Let’s drill down on that report;” “I need you to drill down on this account;” “Could you drill down on that email?”
When your manager latches onto a phrase, it becomes annoying. But when she warps the original meaning and begins to insert it into nearly every sentence, it makes your ears bleed.
Our only advice to maintain your sanity is to make these phrases into a drinking game. If your manager is overusing an annoying phrase, discuss this with your team and agree everyone will take a drink (of their coffee, their water, from the flask in their jacket) each time your manager uses one of these terms in a meeting.
You’re welcome – your meetings will forever become tolerable.
Replacement phrases: Investigate; Inspect; Verify; Approve
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon