I introduce the beginning of a small campaign to remove these phrases from the business lexicon.
When people use these phrases, I like to ask them what they mean. Because actually, I don’t know. It sounds rather dismissive, derogatory. Something we’d rather not name.
Us humans, we make meaning of stuff, it’s what we do. Want to know how I make meaning from touchy feely/pink and fluffy?
Touch feely sounds like a lascivious groper, and pink and fluffy makes me think of candyfloss. That’s the meaning I make of these terms.
When I ask people to say a little more about what they mean to help me understand them, when they say touchy feely they tell me they’re really talking about emotions, feelings, expressing tenderness, vulnerability. They’re talking about relationships. They are always able to explain it when invited to clarify. Pink and fluffy – is used for what they can’t explain easily. Perhaps we live in a world where we only value a numerical metric. It’s lazy – pink, fluffy – have a go at being more descriptive.
What are organisations unless they’re a set of relationships? Why are we so embarrassed, lazy, dismissive, inarticulate, uncomfortable that we describe this complexity as touchy feely?
So why not say what you mean rather than being pink and fluffy about it.