Make the absurd “business jargon” end now. Let’s all stand up, raise our right hands high, and swear that we’ll be the change we want to see in the world. Let’s all agree that jargon never helps a project get completed, a deadline met, or a co-worker promoted.
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Ever since The Simpsons called out the ridiculousness of words like “proactive” and “paradigm,” it’s been clear that we, as a business culture, have a problem of blather. While Forbes recently put out a list of 25 words and phrases we really shouldn’t use anymore in the workplace, it’s really just the tip of the terrible iceberg. There are plenty more.
So here are some of our favorites to hate, in alphabetical order, because they’re all equally cringe-worthy:
Action. (Used as a verb. C’mon, we’re not “actioning,” we’re working.)
All-hands meeting. (If it’s important enough to attend, I’m sure you can let everyone know by saying “It’s important.” Or by not having any unimportant meetings.)
Circle back. (Did you drop something on a hike? Or are you just avoiding a problem?)
EOD. (Did you just say EEE-OOH-DEE in a meeting? PS, it’s only half as bad in an email.)
Going forward. (Totally unnecessary when you’re talking about things happening in the future. “Our sales numbers should improve going forward.” Also see the more aggravating version such as “in the go-forward.”)
Guru. (Let’s just say we want someone great at their job.)
IMHO. (Look, what you say is your opinion. No need to add an abbreviation before a thought.)
Inbox me. (Do what now?)
Marinate. (Chicken marinates, not ideas.)
Maximize impact. (Impact is impact, we’re working on making an impact. Have you seen an asteroid crater?)
Out of pocket. (Just say cost.)
Parking lot. (Is where you put your car, not a verb for where ideas go to die.)
Pivot. (Can anyone not hear Ross saying this?)
Right-sizing. (Better known as “downsizing,” but people think it’s less of a blow.)
Rock star. (Unless you’re talking about Bono, this doesn’t belong in the workplace.)
Thought leader. (How very 1984 of you.)
Touch base. (As in, “schedule a touch base.” Can we just have a meeting?)
What’s the ask? (Also known as an odd way of saying, “What are you asking me to do?”)
There are plenty of other ways to make yourself a valuable member of the team without spouting these (or worse) bits of jargon at work. Just trust yourself to communicate like a person, and you’ll do fine.
Tell Us What You Think
What jargon do you want to never hear again? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.