At work, I see a lot of this phenomena: work gets passed around instead of someone taking autonomy and seeing its execution. For example:

Task: Arrange meetup for grant awardees in the Lounge area. This task gets executed by doing the following sub-tasks:

  1. Fix a time
  2. Email grant awardees and relevant people to notify the meetup
  3. actually convene at the said time and date.

But my co-worker, always uses words like "we have to decide what time", "we have to decide how to execute this". She terms it "team effort" which I think simply delays execution of task by talking needlessly about things that can get done by one person taking decision and asking for a vote, as opposed to everyone leaving their work and convening for just this "deciding".

How do I accurately phrase this scenario?

4 Answers 4


I'd say, beating around the bush.

beat around the bush

: to speak evasively or misleadingly, or to stall or waste time. To flush pheasants and other birds so they could be shot, British gamekeepers hired beaters who would swing sticks at likely places where the birds might be lurking. Not to go directly to such foliage but to work around it instead gave the impression of wasting time or not trying very hard to raise the birds; hence, beating around the bush. Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price


I'd use the term dilatory:

  • intended to cause delay, gain time, or defer decision: a dilatory strategy.



I think the idiom you are looking for is:

" Passing the buck "

Idioms.online - Pass the buck

Buck passing - Wikipedia


You could consider using indecisive which means:

(Of a person) not able to make decisions quickly and effectively

Your co-worker in your example shows indecisiveness by asking others to decide what is already written in proper operating procedure or manual.

[Oxford Online Dictionary]

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