(Take it Up/Down a Notch 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.)
Take it Up/Down a Notch
If we were talking about speedometers or a volume control, take it up/down a notch works beautifully. It describes the exact amount in which the situation needs to be moved up or down.
In business, the phrase has no actual nominal value and therefore can only be used as a lame, hollow attempt at motivation by your annoying (and ineffective) manager.
If your marketing budget is a bit bloated, your manager may have you take it down a notch.
What does that mean? What if your notches are closer together than hers? Suddenly, the fate of your company’s success rides on your ability to interpret how many marketing dollars one notch represents? Yikes!
And here’s a little tip: there’s no Google conversion for notches to dollars. (We know; we checked.)
Especially when used as a pep talk, take it up a notch is vague. Moreover, it’s the kind of weak leadership that do-nothing, rah-rah managers love to spew.
Of course, if your manager wants you to take it up a notch, he or she isn’t asking for all that much.
Think about it. How much is a notch? It’s one decibel (sound), one mile per hour (speed), or one rung (on a ladder). Despite how maddening the request is, we’re pretty sure you won’t break a sweat complying.
Replacement phrases: No replacement needed; just do the math. Replace this saying with the number you want to add or cut from something. And if what you’re dealing with isn’t numerical, just strike the phrase entirely.
See also: Next Level
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon