Having long been an advocate for clear, concise communication, i cringe every time i read or hear anything filled with high sounding, nonsensical bizspeak, jargon and cliches. Throw in acronyms for good measure. Google the word Jargon and you will find several current and well written articles calling for a cease and desist of the current business jargon. In fact it has become so boring that there is now jargon for jargon, "A Gong Show". If you are not old enough to remember the Gong Show, it was a talent show where contestants who were painful and bad were cut off or their performance was followed by the sound of a gong.
The current opinion seems to be that people who have the need to fill their business discussions with jargon and cliches do so because they want to sound smart, with it, and in the know. They use expressions like....get ready..."moving the needle", "bandwith", "hard stop" , "big footprint" , "multivate POV, "goat rodeo" (among close peeps substitute the f word for rodeo). And the big one that if i hear it one more time i may scream. "Strategic Execution". Maybe like a lot of recruiters and new MBAs it's an attempt to make folks think that they have more value than those of us who prefer to speak and write in terms and words that everybody can understand. Think about top CEOs, recognized business leaders, successful business people who are comfortable with their accomplishments and confident about their ability. Most don't talk about "strategic execution" because they don't believe in non strategic execution. If they have 15 minutes for a phone call they don't announce that they have a "hard stop". They simply say, i have another call scheduled at 2:00.
I noticed a "career consultant" on twitter telling new grads to add a section at the top of their resume that said, "Social Media Footprint". Gong Show big time. Most new grads need to go buy a new pair of shoes for an interview. They haven't been around long enough to have a footprint of any kind. Might work if they are in social media marketing or advertising but for the young accountant or engineer it's just flat stupid or for any professional at any level in my opinion.
I heard "multivate POV" for the first time last week. I wasn't sure if that was a new job title or some foreign language. One of my fellow recruiters saw the look on my face that indicates i am about ready to stop the discussion with one of my questions that starts out, "What the hell does that mean"? He leaned over and whispered, "he means other opinions or multiple points of view". I whispered back, "Gong Freak". "I would like to tell him to shove his POV in a strategic spot."
Cliches have been around long enough that most folks know what they mean but "herself" thinks they are just trite and take up "bandwith", if you will. Things like: "Low Hanging Fruit". Now there is a tired old cliche. One SVP of Sales recently used the cliche "We didn't exactly blow their skirts up" at a sales meeting. One of the young ladies reported him to HR for using sexual remarks at the meeting. Who woulda ever thunk that one?
Recruiters had to come up with a bunch of their own that make no damn sense and take up space not to mention, in my opinion, making themselves look like adolescent wannabes. My pet peeves in our industry are:
"Branding to Talent"...Are you trying to say attract good people to my company?
"Value-Add recruiting"....as opposed to ?
"Strategic Expertise Managing Human Capital"...Gobbledygook - nonsensical garbage phrase.
What are your pet peeves in the land of Jargon that make you want to roll your eyes and scream. GONG SHOW?
How about instead of fouling up our language with jargon we communicate in clear concise understandable words and terms that indicate we don't have some insecure need to impress anyone with how smart we are by sounding stupid.
In my world Gobledygook, jargon and cliches are, well, "One of those dogs that caint hunt."