I read an article recently that centered around the idea that people should immediately stop saying buzzwords and using euphemisms in the workplace. This article is called, “Please STOP Saying These Ridiculous Buzzwords at Work” and the author is Dr. Travis Bradberry. With all due respect to the author’s thoughts and opinions, I absolutely disagree.
The argument made was that these words and phrases have now taken over the conversation in a corporate setting and have no meaning behind them. He argues that somehow the speaker has the urge to sound clever and that is the reason they are using these readily available prepackaged thoughts. Not only that, but the author suggests that these buzzwords and euphemisms cast the speaker in a negative light. He suggested that the speaker doesn’t appear genuine and is definitely being judged.
Here’s the thing -these ”annoying” buzzwords and euphemisms are connective. Using these terms is certainly efficient and, often times in business, what you need the most is to communicate effectively while being as efficient as possible. Our rebuttal to his argument would be that, if you don’t use these words and phrases, you have to stop and go through a long explanation instead.
Using these terms is a shorthand way to communicate. It’s a standard a system to get your point across while letting the person you’re having that conversation with the understanding that you are engaged and aware of what needs to happen next. This shorthand is connective. It is connecive to use these business terms and phrases because they’re an example of business communication.
Every different setting you have in life is going to require a different type of communication. Each interaction is a type of relationship. How do you effectively communicate with your spouse? With friends? With acquaintances? Shorthand communication exists all around us. It’s a way to easily communicate our point and our thoughts.
In Dr. Bradbury’s article, he gives an example of a conversation made up of these terms:
Listen Ray, I don’t have the bandwidth for it with everything that’s on my plate, but ping me anyway because at the end of the day it’s on my radar and I don’t want to be thrown under the bus because I didn’t circle back around on this no-brainer.
We can actually understand what the speaker is saying here. It doesn’t feel annoying for someone to try to be efficient and get everyone on the same page. To explain it all out in a different way would take extra time and have the same meaning. It is concise. Think of communicating on a platform like Twitter. Up until recently, you had 140 characters to say exactly what you were trying to say. Somehow, people managed to come up with a pretty effective way to get their points across with a very limited amount of words. Now, imagine you are on a deadline and have to communicate things quickly to a lot of various people that you are working with.
So, unfortunately -no, we’re not trying to be clever. We are trying to be efficient. We are trying to connect people in a way of business communication that they will understand to have everyone on the same page. If I can utter a three or four-word phrase, and have everyone on my team nodding their heads in agreement and understanding, I’ve made my job a lot easier.
What are your thoughts on buzzards and euphemisms in the workplace? Should they be thrown out? Are they a vital part of business communication? Comment below!