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Jargon Overkill aka. Business Speak Madness

Instead of a pile of boilerplate business-speak, let me tell you how I really feel. More than a few people have written about this and I've used some of their thoughts and writing in this post.

The next time you feel the need to reach out, touch base, shift a paradigm, leverage a best practice, join a tiger team, by all means do it. Just don’t say you’re doing it.

If you have to ask why, chances are you’ve fallen under the poisonous spell of business jargon. No longer solely the province of consultants, investors, and business-school types, this annoying gobbledygook has mesmerized the rank and file around the globe.

Jargon masks real meaning,” says Jennifer Chatman, management professor at the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. “People use it as a substitute for thinking hard and clearly about their goals and the direction that they want to give others.”

To save you from yourself (and to keep your colleagues and customers from strangling you),

JUST SAY NO... speak clearly and say what you mean.

Forbes Magazine created arguably the best and most comprehensive list of annoying and abominable examples of business jargon for one - maybe two - reasons:

  • to identify the single most annoying example of business jargon and

  • thoroughly embarrass all who employ them

Take a look at the Jargon Bracket created by Brett Nelson, Forbes Magazine.


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