Survey: Top 5 phrases that signal inauthenticity

If a CEO utters one of these phrases, business bloggers thinks he or she is full of it.

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In the study, bloggers named the top five phrases that make them feel as if a CEO is trying to manipulate them. Here they are (with explanations from the study):

1. This deal is a win/win.

Whether it’s true or not, bloggers believe that few business deals, if any, are really win-win—particularly in the current economic climate. “What’s really win-win these days?” A survey respondent asked.

2. Thinking/working/planning outside the box.

The phrase is viewed as classic corporate-speak. “I hear someone say they are thinking ‘outside the box,’ and I take that as a really good sign that they aren’t,” said one of the respondents.

3. We’re not here to talk about the past.

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