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Love ’em or lose ’em: 2023 Buzzwords

It’s almost the end of the first quarter of 2023, and to celebrate, I’ve compiled a list of some of the most overused corporate buzzwords and phrases.

1.) Let’s jump on a call– Yes, let’s just “jump” back to 2001 and listen to Limp Bizkit while we overuse this phrase. When someone says this, I know I’m likely in for a 30 minute sales pitch.

2.) Circle the wagons– John Wayne would cringe if he heard a C level exec saying this while sipping a flavored water with electrolytes.

3.) Deliverables– Let’s just go back to calling this what it really is: work. Deliverables are just products that are expected in the normal scope of a job. Do you overhear the plumber asking what deliverables are expected when you have a clogged toilet?

4.) You’re muted– They’ll figure it out soon enough.

5.) Regards– The ultimate sign-off that should only be reserved for the most coldblooded transactions. Ex.) “Your taxes are overdue and you’ve been penalized,” Regards, IRS

6.) To be honest– A tell that you everything else you said was dishonest.

7.) Just checking in– This gives me Hotel California creeper vibes. No one likes to be checked on. A general rule of thumb is to attempt to add value every time you interact with a lead. “You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave!”

8.) Can I pick your brain– The imagery itself is not optimal for relationship building. It’s invasive. Be prepared with a list of questions, and ask the other person if they would mind if you asked them three questions about the subject matter. Any more than that is likely an imposition.

9.) Circle back– If the intent is to re-address, re-negotiate, or perform adequate work on an issue, then be more specific.

10.) What’s the ROI?– This one stings me the worst. ROI is the most incorrectly used acronym I hear on a daily basis, and it lets me know how sophisticated the investor is. When someone asks this, do they mean before or after tax? Do they plan to hold onto the investment or dispose of it, and if so when? Is this before or after debt service? Most of the time, someone just wants to know how quickly they will get their money back.

Summary: Keep it simple. Communication is about getting the message across, and bad jargon dilutes the message or misconstrues it.


Mike Gennaro, Publisher



#overusedjargon #worstcorporatebuzzwords2023 #retirethesebuzzwordsin2023

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