Office Speak: In the Wheelhouse

I’ve heard this phrase quite a bit recently, it’s one of those that comes and then it goes again. It’s primarily used by my colleague from the other side of the Atlantic where I suspect it’s a common phrase.

That’s right in our wheelhouse

What do we need to do to get this nearer our wheelhouse?

I’d always assumed that it was a boating term – boats have wheelhouses and that’s the place where you control the boat – so being in the wheelhouse is the place where you are in control, but that’s not the common way that people are using it. The wheelhouse is also a baseball idiom, which explains why it’s not used very much on this side of the Atlantic.

I’m British; pessimism is my wheelhouse.

John Oliver

As baseball slang the wheelhouse is what we’d call in cricket the sweet-spot.

It’s the point in the swing action and on the bat where the batter/hitter has the most power.

In office speak the wheelhouse is the place of maximum competency for your organisation. If there’s a piece of business that’s right in your wheelhouse then you are confident in your ability to win it, it’s what you do.

Cultural slang can be just as challenging as difficult as other office speak.

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