There are some phrases that are best kept out of business talk in the modern world. When Spark’s previous chief executive, Simon Moutter, let ‘opening the kimono’ out during a Global Women’s event last year, it brought about the idea of what is appropriate in the workplace and what can land you in hot water quickly.

Here are some popular phrases often used in the corporate world that need to be buried in order to create a healthy work culture for all to be a part of, regardless of gender, race and sexuality.

  1. Open the kimono

Ah yes, a classic. As we know, Moutter fell victim to the phrase — but he’s not the only one. While it has been widely used in business chat to describe the idea of disclosing secret information about your company to others, it quite simply has to go. The term, which has negative connotations due to its sexual origins, can be offensive because of its explicit nature and the undertones of toxic and superior masculinity. It’s best to just avoid this one at all costs in the business place.

  1. Tarred with the same brush

A phrase that describes the wrongdoing of an individual and how it attributes that person’s whole group under the same negative light. It should be avoided in the workplace as the use of ‘tar’ can easily be deemed racist. There’s no point in risking something like this in the multicultural place we live in, so just don’t say it.

  1. Chop chopAside from the risk of sounding racist, saying ‘chop chop’ to your employees can come across controlling, demanding and overall, just plain condescending. The use of this type of jargon in the workplace has the potential to make your workers feel inferior, and also could make them feel under pressure in completing their work.

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