There are a number of Clichés that wind people up and generally get on everyone’s nerves when they are used in the workplace. We can all cope with this once or twice but a continual bombardment of jargon-ridden management drivel, often from the same one or two walking Clichés in the office, makes people just want to explode.
Here are 15 of the worst offenders:
- Blue sky thinking: we live in the UK for heaven’s sake!!
- World class: much favoured by MPs when talking about the NHS or education standards, both of which are clearly not world class, average maybe.
- Seamless: possibly appropriate in a clothing factory but not in the office.
- To be fair: often used to make excuses for a poor performance.
- Game changer: Jose Mourinho maybe, Head of Recruitment never!
- Low hanging fruit: possibly in the Amazon, otherwise just use the word easy.
- Bring to the table: Ugh!!!…..simply contribute.
- Synergy: something CEO types love to say. Has crept into modern day parlance to indicate that the CEO works hard too!
- Sustainable: applicable to damaged environments not damaged egos.
- Proactive: just think and do something before everything falls apart.
- Thinking outside the box: never in the office, please!
- Shift the goal posts: possibly if you are moving them outside the box. Yet another over-used sports cliché.
- Let’s run this up the flagpole: followed by a walk along the plank to a watery grave.
- Elephant in the room: much favoured by media types. Inappropriate unless your office happens to back on to London Zoo.
- OMG, LOL etc: never ever! …your teenage years are long gone and you will never regain the respect of your colleagues and business partners.
So, how can we get eradicate this ridiculous jargon and get rid of these Clichés once and for all? People want to hear normal language, even in a business setting. Clarity is the key. Management jargon can be useful if it is used to make a point clearly and efficiently. However, too many times jargon is used to prove the point that is ultimately lost due to the Clichés they are wrapped around.
One of the main problems is that these Clichés present an argument that is still favoured by many employers and managers. If a candidate is trying to impress his/her future employers he/she will feel almost compelled to use this management jargon in their interview. Watch any episode of the The Apprentice to see how young people think they have to behave to impress Alan Sugar! This attitude must surely change if things are to improve.
The answer may well lie within the office. The main Cliché offenders will be known to all and, when they start to speak, eyebrows are raised and heads shake and sink downwards. A series of forfeits might alleviate the situation. A first offence could be punished by a round of drinks after work. Continued use of inappropriate Clichés could lead to food after the drinks. For the serial offenders, who often combine two or three Clichés into one totally confusing sentence, picking up the tab for a weekend break in Barcelona may be the only remedy. Trust me, they will thank you for it in the future.
By: Jon Ball
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