Why do so many people get wrapped up in business-speak? It’s like an entirely different language. How many conversations have you had with colleagues, recruiters, employers that have been incomprehensible because the language used requires the assistance of a translator?

To me, the more an individual uses business jargon, the less likely I am to believe they actually know what they’re talking about. It all sounds very important, but when you get past the baseball references when discussing meetings, or verbs transformed into nouns, it seems to me that all anyone is really doing is letting people know when they’re heading out for lunch.

To be fair, the business lexicon can be useful when speaking to those who speak the same language, but if you’re not in the know then you can definitely feel like you’re in the dark.

Here are few phrases I’ve gathered that I find annoying or completely meaningless:

Resources (oh you mean People):

Do we have enough resources to complete this assignment? The term ‘resources’ can often be used to replace the word people. Seems absurd but apparently people and their skill sets are viewed in a similar light as a stockroom. The term is also very ambiguous – rather than asking if ‘Melissa’ and her team have the skills required to complete a project and naming the actual skills or experience in need, ‘resources’ is thrown around, leaving everyone wondering – do we? 


This term gives me the shivers. It just sounds so manipulative – which I’m sure in a business context it can be. Although the term does have a sound financial meaning, the regular use of the word in relation to someone’s skills or position just doesn’t sit right. Leverage, to me, should only be used when working with an actual lever to move or lift an object. Leave leveraging out of business and just tell people what you’d like to do, e.g. ‘I’d like to use our team’s excellent ability to present and discuss our plans to convince our client that this is the best proposal.’ Was that so hard?


Let’s pick off the low-hanging fruit:

This phrase can get thrown around to describe getting the easy tasks done first, because it’s apparently very difficult to say – let’s get the easy tasks out of the way first.

This is just a ‘win-win’:

Really? Is everybody winning here?

Reach Out:

Can you be more dramatic? When I think of reaching out to someone it’s usually a friend who I’ve lost touch with, or to someone I know personally who is going through a difficult time. Reaching out is not something I would consider doing to a client. I may call a client on the phone, or suggest that we should talk, but I save my reaching out for more personal matters.

The list goes on an on: 2.0; boil the ocean; actioning, actionables, at-the-end-of-the-day, high-level, drill-down, learnings, utilize, finalize, peel the onion; right sizing, etc.

What do you think? Do you get tired of listening to business jargon? Do you have any other terms that you think should be added to the list?