12 Business World Phrases Repurposed for Life with Kids

by Rebecca Lang September 28, 2016

Now that I stay home full time with my kids, I sometimes miss the business jargon I used at work. I didn't realize how much I relied on it to communicate until I didn't need it anymore. So to keep my mind entertained while tending to some of the more mundane tasks of child rearing (i.e. cleaning, more cleaning, and laundry), I re-purposed some of the phrases I said and heard often at work for my life at home with kids.

Expression: SWOT Analysis

Definition at work:
A study of an organization's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Example: We completed a SWOT analysis to help identify key priorities for the upcoming year.

Definition at home:
A discussion with my daughter to understand why she hit her brother.

Example: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Did you just hit him? It's time for a SWOT analysis.

Expression: Gross

Definition at work:
The total amount before anything is deducted.

Example: What was our gross revenue last quarter?

Definition at home:

Example: Don't eat that M&M off the ground; that's gross.

Expression: Run water through the pipes

Definition at work:
Go through some hypothetical situation to test a new idea.

Example: Let's run water through the pipes to see if this new workflow solves the problem.

Definition at home:
A necessary plumbing repair after a small toy is accidentally flushed down the toilet.

Example: The plumber ran water through the pipes, and it cost me $250.

Expression: Close the loop

Definition at work:
Follow-up on a question or issue that's pending.

Example: I wanted to close the loop on your question regarding rebates.

Definition at home:
Tying my kids' shoelaces.

Example: Come here; we have to close the loop on your left shoe.

Expression: Create spin

Definition at work:
When a simple issue is turned into a complicated one due to confusion and chaos.

Example: Her last email created so much spin because she didn't read my original response back to the client.

Definition at home:
When one of my children riles up the other one.

Example: He created so much spin with his jumping and climbing that both kids started running and screaming through the airport.

Expression: Strategic planning

Definition at work:
The process of setting priorities and focusing resources on common goals.

Example: The strategic planning process is integral to our company's long term success.

Definition at home:
The necessity to plan ahead to complete even the most mundane of tasks.

Example: It took intense strategic planning today to figure out how to go grocery shopping, take Mary to ballet, and let the baby take two naps in his crib.

Expression: Take offline

Definition at work:
Discuss a question or issue separately, after a group meeting is over.

Example: Can you guys take that discussion offline, since it only impacts your team?

Definition at home:
Quickly remove a misbehaving toddler from a public setting.

Example: Let's take this tantrum offline before we disturb the entire restaurant.

Expression: Low hanging fruit

Definition at work:
An easy-to-fix problem that can be solved quickly.

Example: Our audit of your department's processes found some low hanging fruit that will result in noticeable improvements.

Definition at home:
Items within my children's reach that they shouldn't touch, but are too tempting to ignore.

Example: Are you really surprised they broke those Christmas ornaments? They were low hanging fruit dangling at the bottom of the tree.

Expression: Lots of moving parts

Definition at work:
A complex situation or problem that requires careful analysis and input before choosing a course of action

Example: Because this project has lots of moving parts, we'll have weekly meetings with the entire team to keep everyone up-to-date.

Definition at home:
Every single one of my children's toys.

Example: I don't know where your Shopkins went. There are lots of moving parts, and if you don't keep track of them, they disappear.

Expression: Let's connect

Definition at work:
Setting up a conference call or meeting to discuss a pending issue or discuss general business

Example: Let's connect when I get back from vacation.

Definition at home:
Setting up a playdate

Example: Let's connect when the kids are over their colds.

Expression: Buy-in

Definition at work:
Secure agreement on a course of action.

Example: We got the boss's buy-in on our recommendation, so we can move forward.

Definition at home:
Successfully convincing my toddler to do something.

Example: After a lengthy negotiation, I finally got her buy-in to wear shoes.

Expression: Hard stop

Definition at work:
Must leave a meeting by a certain time no matter what discussion is happening.

Example: I've got a hard stop at 4:00, so can we get this meeting started?

Definition at home:
Immediately putting an end to a dangerous activity.

Example: I walked into the room as he was trying to hang from the chandelier, so I put a hard stop to that.

Rebecca Lang


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