Please Stop Using These Phrases in Meetings - Deepstash
Please Stop Using These Phrases in Meetings

Please Stop Using These Phrases in Meetings

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Banish Certain Phrases

Language is generative, and the way we talk about our meetings comes to define what happens in those meetings.

Even at a time when so much is beyond our control, we remain in control of our own speech patterns. And so, as leaders and employees continue to rethink what the modern workplace should look like, including how we gather, perhaps it’s an opportune moment to banish certain phrases from the “meeting-speak” lexicon.

Here are some of the responses that resonated the most.


203 reads

We’re going to wait five minutes for everyone to join.

Often among the first words uttered by an online meeting host, this practice dishonors the time of those who joined on time and does nothing to establish a culture of punctuality for meetings.

What the author recommends:

Ask everyone to write down their intention or objective for the meeting. This isn’t something that will be shared publicly, but the practice of thinking about one’s objectives before a meeting begins can be grounding.


175 reads

You’re on mute.

To be sure, these words quickly signal that a speaker needs to click the unmute button. But the phrase — often uttered by multiple people at once — has become notoriously grating. It also makes the person on the receiving end of the comment feel silly.

What the author recommends:

A colleague of mine suggests the gentler, more affirming, “If you’re speaking, I can’t hear you.” Instead of making the silent speaker feel silly, this reframing shows them that you truly want to hear what it is they have to say.


176 reads

Let’s take this offline.

Without a clear, quick mention of how and when this “offline” conversation will take place, this is a jargony way to dismiss someone’s idea and put them off indefinitely.

What the author recommends:

Why not go with something like this: “That’s an important topic that’s beyond the scope of this meeting. I’ll email you when we wrap up.”


165 reads

I’m going to give you 10 minutes of your life back.

This is not to say that the author is opposed to meetings that end early. But if they’re well-structured, well-run, and surprisingly concise, we should celebrate the fruits of our collaboration and look forward to our next gathering.

What the author recommends:

Consider saying, “Wow. Because everyone was so productive, we’re done 10 minutes early. Thank you so much for your presence and participation. Have a great day.”

This simple rephrasing has the power to reframe your work.


157 reads

In Brief

  • We’re going to wait five minutes for everyone to join.
  • You’re on mute.
  • We’re building the plane while flying it.
  • Let’s take this offline.
  • I’m going to give you 10 minutes of your life back.


180 reads





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