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business slang A management style or approach in which the manager only becomes involved in a matter when a problem is perceived to have arisen, especially when they have little other knowledge about said matter and only cause more problems as a result of their involvement. I'm sick of this new boss's seagull approach. If he would just let us get on with our work instead of swooping in every time there's a hiccup, we'd nearly be finished by now!
In business, a marketing strategy in which a very narrow, focused, or selective group, demographic, or population is targeted or advertised to. Our competitors have been drawing away a large proportion of the market share of teenaged customers, so our next marketing campaign is going to have a rifle approach to get them back.
In business, a marketing strategy in which a wide and nonselective population or demographic is reached or advertised to. We don't yet have much brand recognition in the market, so we're going with a shotgun approach to reach as many potential customers as we can.
An approach that is cautious, tentative, gradual, and careful, especially to an overbearing degree. (Also written "softly, softly.") I just wish his parents didn't always take the softly-softly approach with him. The kid needs to learn how to be a bit more brazen and independent! I think we should use the softly, softly approach at this stage in development.
carrot and stick
A motivational tactic that uses a reward and punishment system to encourage improved performance or behavior. Companies are slowly learning that the carrot and stick approach to management is ineffective—employees are much more motivated to do a better job when they are recognized for their hard work.
softly, softly approach
A calm and thoughtful method for dealing with a problem. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. When dealing with unmotivated teens, the softly, softly approach doesn't always work—sometimes you have to do something to get their attention. Many parents use the softly, softly approach when trying to calm their toddlers' tantrums.
approach (one) about
To ask someone something, often in a cautious way. When is the best time to approach the boss about taking a leave of absence? I can't propose yet, I still have to approach Julie's dad about it. Have the producers approached you about taking the role yet?
approach someone about someone or something
to ask someone about someone or something, usually with tact and caution. Wally has been acting strangely. I will approach Judy about him. She approached Tom about the broken window.
carrot and stick
Reward and punishment used as persuasive measures, as in Management dangled the carrot of a possible raise before strikers, but at the same time waved the stick of losing their pension benefits . This term alludes to enticing a horse or donkey to move by dangling a carrot before it and, either alternately or at the same time, urging it forward by beating it with a stick. [Late 1800s]
carrot and stick
COMMON If someone uses a carrot and stick method to make you do something, they try to make you do it, partly by offering you rewards and partly by threatening you. But Congress also wants to use a carrot and stick approach to force both sides to negotiate an end to the war. With the announcement that the hostages are to be released, it appears that Washington's new carrot-and-stick policy may already have brought results. Note: Carrot and stick are used in many other structures with a similar meaning. Protests continued, however, so the authorities substituted the carrot for the stick. When the Security Council waves a stick at an offending country, the secretary-general can also offer a carrot as encouragement. Note: The idea behind this expression is that an animal such as a donkey can be encouraged to move forward either by dangling a carrot in front of it or by hitting it with a stick. The carrot represents the tempting offer and the stick represents the threat.
carrot and stickthe promise of reward combined with the threat of force or punishment.
The image in this expression is of offering a carrot to a donkey to encourage it to move and using a stick to beat it if it refuses to budge.
1998 New Scientist And if your powers of persuasion prove insufficient, here's a carrot and stick policy.