"Start off on the right foot" - Utilities and Energy


10/25/20224 min read

To begin a project, relationship, in a positive and successful manner.


The early beginnings of the idiom "start off on the right foot" are unknown, but it is believed to have originated from the ancient belief that the left foot was associated with bad luck, evil, or misfortune. Therefore, starting a journey or activity with the right foot was seen as a way to ensure success and avoid potential problems. Over time, the phrase evolved into a metaphorical expression that emphasizes the importance of beginning any endeavor with a positive attitude and well-planned actions.

What is the Meaning?

To "start off on the right foot" means to begin a new venture, project, relationship, or task with a favorable and successful beginning. It implies that the initial actions taken are well thought out and contribute to a positive outcome. In a business context, it means setting clear goals, establishing open communication channels, and fostering collaboration among team members. By starting off on the right foot, individuals and teams can set the stage for continued success throughout the course of a project or relationship.

Prioritize Quality Communication

a man and woman shaking hands in a meeting room
a man and woman shaking hands in a meeting room


Imagine a person stepping forward with their right foot, confidently taking the first step towards success. Their posture is upright, and their expression is determined. They are prepared and focused on achieving their goals. This visual representation can help learners understand the concept of starting off on the right foot in a more literal sense, emphasizing the positive momentum gained by beginning a task or relationship with the right attitude and actions.

Utilities and Energy Context - How to Use the Idiom

In the utilities and energy industry, professionals often deal with complex projects, tight deadlines, and high-stakes decisions. Using the idiom "start off on the right foot" can convey the importance of thorough planning, clear communication, and teamwork to ensure success in this challenging business environment.

Here are some example sentences of the idiom used in various business contexts:

To ensure a successful merger, we need to start off on the right foot by establishing open communication between our teams.

We must start off on the right foot with our new supplier to build a strong, long-lasting partnership.

To guarantee the success of our energy conservation project, let's start off on the right foot with a detailed project plan and clear responsibilities for all team members.

Compare Sentences

With the idiom: "Let's start off on the right foot with our project by having a positive attitude and a clear plan."

The sentence with the idiom is better because it conveys the same idea in a more engaging and memorable way, using an expression that is common in American business English.

a solar panel system with a photo of a solar panel
a solar panel system with a photo of a solar panel

Over to you - Using the Idiom in Conversation

How would you use the idiom "start off on the right foot" in your business conversations? Try to think of situations where you could use the idiom. Consider reading this scenario aloud. Record yourself speaking to experience a more effective way of practicing the idiom. Here is an example to get you started.


Scenario: A team of professionals in the utilities and energy industry are having a meeting to discuss the launch of a new energy efficiency initiative.

Project Manager: Before we dive into the specifics of our energy efficiency initiative, let's ensure we get off to a good start by setting clear goals and objectives for the project.

Energy Analyst: I agree. By beginning the project properly, and assessing our risks, we can better anticipate potential challenges and develop effective solutions to meet our targets.

Project Engineer: Additionally, starting off on the right foot will help us build a strong foundation for teamwork and collaboration throughout the project's duration.

Marketing Specialist: Absolutely, and it will also allow us to effectively communicate the benefits of our initiative to stakeholders and clients, further ensuring our success.

Start off on the right foot - Utilities and Energy

Gap Fill Exercises

Add the idiom "start off on the right foot" to the blank spaces in the following sentences:

  1. In our next project, it's crucial that we ___________ to avoid any delays or misunderstandings.

  2. To build trust with our new clients, let's ___________ by being transparent and responsive to their needs.

  3. As we integrate the new team members, we should ___________ with clear expectations and open communication.

  4. When launching our new energy-saving campaign, we must ___________ to create a lasting impact on consumers.

Quiz: Test Your Understanding of "Start Off on the Right Foot" in Business Contexts

What does the idiom "start off on the right foot" mean?

a) To begin a project with the left foot

b) To begin a situation, project, or relationship in a positive and successful way

c) To walk with the right foot first

Fill in the blank: "We must ___________ with our new business partner to establish a strong working relationship."

a) start off on the wrong foot

b) start off on the right foot

c) start off on the left foot

In which business situation would it be appropriate to use the idiom "start off on the right foot"?

a) When discussing a past failure

b) When discussing the launch of a new project

c) When discussing a personal matter

Which of these sentences uses the idiom "start off on the right foot" correctly?

a) We should start off on the right foot by ignoring our team's input.

b) To start off on the right foot, let's set clear goals and establish open communication from the beginning.

c) Let's start off on the right foot by keeping secrets from our colleagues.

Which of these actions will help a team "start off on the right foot" in a new project?

a) Establishing clear goals and objectives

b) Ignoring potential challenges

c) Withholding information from team members

Scoring Guidelines:

1 correct answer: Beginner

2-3 correct answers: Intermediate

4-5 correct answers: Expert

Answer Key:






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