Au revoir, clichés.

— Win-win. It’s been mockingly used in commercials, as a movie title, and lampooned in The Office (where it became “Win-win-win“…with the third “win” as props to the mediator for bringing parties to agreement.)

— Think outside the box.  The very use of this hackneyed phrase kind of means you’re thinking inside the box.

— Brainstorm.  Not only a cliché, but suggestive of a debilitating stroke.  “Spitballing” is also played out, and “non-judgmentally generating as many options as possible” doesn’t really roll off the tongue.  (Watch the movie 12 Angry Men sometime….one of the characters comes up with a litany of zany metaphors for idea generation….my favorite is something like “let’s leave the idea in a saucer and see if any kittens lap it up”.)

— Get on the same page.  We need something new for post-print era.  “Get on the same url” doesn’t quite cut it.  I tend to use “get on the same side of the table,” but that’s probably also overused.

— That Chinese character for conflict/crisis supposedly combining “danger” and “opportunity”.  This gets trotted out in almost every mediation training, and it’s a makes a good point…but it may not even be an accurate translation:

So, dear readers, let’s brainstorm and think outside the box so we can get on the same page for a win-win on new ways to express our core values.  May this semantic crisis be an opportunity.


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