Regardless of which phase of your professional career you’re in, you will invariably encounter at least one or two words or phrases, usually uttered by a manager or consultant, that will have you scratching your head.
They’re trendy, you see, and the idea is that by simply throwing these words into the air like one does a ball, they’ll make the speaker sound smart, hip and in the know. Now, we’re not talking jargon here; that’s an entirely different beast. No, we’re talking words that are all too often bandied around in meetings with scant regard for the sensibilities of those listening to them.
We’re talking the type of words or phrases that will take you down the slippery slope to asinine pretentiousness faster than an innovative solution.
We’re talking corporate buzzwords.
Just because you look intently at your clients doesn’t mean anything will change, much like those weird three dimensional art puzzle things that are supposed to reveal a hidden picture if you stare at them for an hour. Please, for the love of everything, stop saying this.
14 TAKE IT OFFLINE
Unless you’re referring to someone who is physically plugged into a virtual-reality Matrix type affair with wires and cables and the like, they’re not actually online. So just tell them to discuss whatever it is their discussing later.
13 PARADIGM SHIFT
When someone realises that everything they’ve been doing or saying is wrong, contrary to logic and reason, and decides to actually follow the sage advice of their team, it’s known as a paradigm shift. You don’t want to be caught in one of these.
12 STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT
This is what happens when vampire hunters go speed dating and not when you’re simply communicating with your clients or colleagues.
Realistically, the only people who should ever encounter one of these things are couriers, delivery people and postal workers (and maybe Santa). What you’re actually doing in your daily working life is tasks. Lots and lots of tasks. You’re not delivering anything, except a huge amount of groans for talking about your deliverables.
10 HIGH LEVEL
The go-to word of many a middle-manager, the term ‘high-level’ has become one of the more popular words in office meetings, particularly when the person using it seems to not fully grasp the details of something and can only provide a vague synopsis that is ultimately useless.
While you might be forgiven for thinking this is a scratch left on a work area caused by a mishandled tool, in the office world, it means something entirely different. Once, it signified a standard of excellence. Once. Now it means, “the measure we put to anything that could have been measured even if it didn’t need to be measured… much like its ranking on this list.
8 QUICK WIN
The ‘quick win’ is a stalwart of buzzword bingo games and unproductive meetings alike and is all too often used to disguise core business activities that aren’t being done as mini-projects that are easily achievable.
7 TOUCH BASE
One of the all-time favourites of the pretentious professional and a once highly prized feature of table lamps that allow them to be turned on and off without the need for a conventional switch. Touching base, while still prevalent in modern office spaces, has slipped down the rankings due to people no longer wanting to touch bases. Emailing or talking seems much easier.
6 CHANGE MANAGEMENT
This oft used phrase has seen a resurgence in recent times. Business consultants are putting it down to increasing economic pressures necessitating more piggy-banks in the office to manage the higher amount of loose change due to dwindling profits.
5 MOVING FORWARD
Unless you spend your entire working life on one of those weird flat escalator things at airports, using this buzzword is just pretentious, imprecise and completely unnecessary. No one wants to move backwards, unless they’ve just heard that phrase.
4 LOW-HANGING FRUIT
A parody of itself, the term ‘low-hanging fruit’ is actually representative of what it is supposed to represent because it’s easy, lazy and far too obvious. It’s also kind of dirty as low-hanging fruit usually scrapes the ground. Honestly, who wants some of that?
One of the most hated buzzwords of the past two years. Not only is it offensive to those that hear it, but to language in general. Honestly, is it so hard to just ask “what value are we giving our customers?” rather than “where’s the value-add?”? Is it?
2 GAME CHANGER
Picture this: You’re seated in a meeting room, everyone is sharing ideas happily and there’s a great vibe happening and then someone (usually a manager) asserts that what you’ve all just sat through is a ”game-changer”. You’re talking about tweaking a product; what game are you changing? What are they talking about? Unless you’ve physically melded Monopoly with Hungry Hungry Hippos, you’ve not changed any games. None.
1 IT’S ON MY RADAR
Surely anyone who says this is just taking the proverbial? Unless you’ve been fitted with Stark Industries type technology, you don’t have radar. Please. Stop. Using. This.
Originally published at: http://pubacct.org.au/15-words-that-need-to-be-banned-from-the-office/