🏅 Sports terms

Shuts out people not into this sport; overemphasizes competitiveness

Basic Example

Advanced Example

Sports metaphors

Metaphors taken from the world of sports have become a mainstay of business communication, especially in messages aiming to motivate. Framing business interactions as a sport often overemphasizes their competitive aspects. While this communication style may resonate with people who share your love of the game, others may feel you're trivializing the complexity of doing business, or feel you don't value more collaborative mindsets.

Apart from the competitive aspect, there are gender biases to consider. Many of the sports referenced in business environments are traditionally male-dominated. Using sports terms can subtly signal a preference for a business world where people who identify as female have no place.

Last not least, when using terms related to a specific sport only those familiar with that exact sport will get your point.

What can you do?

Use commonly used and well-understood words and metaphors to get your message across in a way that connects with everyone. You can use broad sports metaphors that convey fairness, playful creativity, and the fun of working together.

😔 Purchasing is throwing us a curveball. We've reached a point in our negotiations where the boss has to step up to the plate.
🤗 Purchasing is demanding greater concessions than we can make. We've reached a point in our negotiations where management has to take over.