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Buzzword bingo: Is that even a word?

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HC Online | 21 Oct 2011, 12:00 AM Agree 0
When it comes to using lingo, HR would have to be one of the worst offenders. Keeping up with the latest acronyms and management terms can be a full time job in itself!
  • Sean Reddell, Blaze Unlimited | 21 Oct 2011, 03:41 PM Agree 0
    Hi. Love your posts but have a comment on using employee engagement as a 'buzz' word. I've just written a post highlight that soft skills are not soft, in fact are hard to perform and further that the use of the term 'soft' to describe these skills gives them short shrift in the business world. I think the same risk is inherent with saying that Employee Engagement is a 'buzz' word. It infers that it's a passing fad, not important, and can be ignored. On the other hand, given the attention most employers place on engagement, it's understandable if the general population sees it as a buzz word "something mgt says much about but actually does little..."

    Keep up the great work and thanks for the opportunity to contribute.

    Kind regards

  • Bernie Althofer | 21 Oct 2011, 04:18 PM Agree 0
    A former colleague once told me about a Conference that he and one of his then colleagues attended. His colleague was a presenter and at the end of day one, had not written his paper. That night he used a 'buzz word generator' and wrote his paper. He presented the paperwork and feedback indicated that the paper was the 'best of the Conference'. When quizzed by his colleague about the meaning of his paper, the reply was "I have no idea but it sounded good". Unfortunately, using 'buzzwords' can confuse, confuddle and even create a belief that the person writing and presenting the information has something to say, knows what they are saying, or is presenting something that can be relied on. Apparently the secret to using the buzx word generator is to string the words together as much as possible e.g. "Lt's do lunch and revisit the big picture and look at our relationship with the bottom line and if need be we can have some robust discussion on how to fast track the strategic fit of core competencies in the business model. Let's take a moment to consider how we can fly it up the flag pole and whether external forces require collaboration to create some synergy in moving forward."
  • Madeleine Baldissera | 23 Oct 2011, 03:55 PM Agree 0

    Your comment made me laugh when checking emails can be a pain. There are three words that always get to me (in addition to the ones above) and include ... vision, acknowledge, support. In the right context they are fine but often they are used to simply mean "We're not interested in you, your business or what you have to say for that matter' and they just make me groan.
  • Andrew | 25 Oct 2011, 10:01 AM Agree 0
    'Touch-base' is on there twice, shouldn't be too hard to cover that off twice in one meeting, I hear it in my wrokplace so much!
  • Bernie Althofer | 27 Oct 2011, 11:16 AM Agree 0
    I am not a fan of "at the end of the day".
  • Catherine | 10 Nov 2011, 05:54 PM Agree 0
    My most hated word is " socialise" when people use it to talk about a paper. As in " that paper hasnt been socialised" Its so ridiculous!
  • Bernie Althofer | 11 Nov 2011, 03:16 PM Agree 0
    A quick search on the internet shows that there are some providers who generate random bingo sheets for use in team meetings. So in reality, we could have a all hands meeting to drill down and play hard ball and generate some ownership with a champion instead of blamestorming and playing around at the tip of the iceberg. I suspect that the over use of these words is the issue and ends up creating a belief that there is no genuine meaning to what is being said. Communication is such a critical part of what we do in business and in our private lives. We can turn people so very easily by being 'too clever' with the use of some words. So, why do we say "at the end of the day" when we could very well say "at the start of the night". By the way, there was an interesting article in a free paper recently that spoke of how confusing language can be. When the eyes roll back, the head nods and feet start to tap, I know the message is not getting through.
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