(On Our Radar 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.)
On Our Radar
Your business, we are sad to report to your annoying manager, is not like war. In fact, unless your business is controlling air traffic or predicting the weather, there is never anything on your radar.
Of course, because your boss likes to think your industry is so much like war (and he envisions himself a field general), he cannot help himself when he overuses military jargon to describe the mundane.
“Levenson Chemicals is definitely on our radar.”
Oh, are they? Exactly where? Are they on our six? Are they attacking our flank? Do we need to mobilize the troops?
Being aware of threats or opportunities is certainly important for business success. However, overdramatizing these or even simply defaulting to clichéd jargon can dampen, not elevate, the fighting spirit of your troops. (Hint: They’re not troops; they’re associates, employees, or team.)
Instead of reaching for the irritating, overused, and often inaccurate phrases, why not speak clearly? Why not just describe what you mean in unmistakable business terms? If Levenson Chemicals is a potential threat, then say this. If Levenson Chemicals is weak, say that.
Telling us a threat or opportunity is on our radar only relays your (possible) awareness of it. It does nothing to explain how you expect the team to capitalize on the opportunity or mitigate the threat.
In fact, it doesn’t even tell the team whether it’s important to focus on whatever it is that’s on our radar. In every meeting where a manager explains, “Oh yeah, it’s on our radar,” you’ll notice the heads in the room nodding as if they understand and agree.
They don’t; they’re just wishing they’d been called away from yet another worthless meeting.
Replacement phrases: Considering; Aware of; or perhaps just say whatever it is you mean.
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon