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  • Writer's pictureL. Darryl Armstrong

Is "Business-Speak Jargon" a Sign of Incompetence?

A recent Enreach poll of 1500 respondents published in The Daily Mail Reporter on 29 March 2022 would suggest it is!

  • However, almost two-thirds (64 percent) of our colleagues confess they sometimes use the dreaded jargon themselves.

Having been in the work world for 50-years plus with 30 of those years as a consultant, I confess have heard and have used all the “jargon.”

At the top of the offensive list was “blue-sky thinking,” with 27 percent of the 1500 respondents calling it annoying, and 26 percent said “thinking outside the box” was the most bothersome.

Our colleagues say they believe using such language demonstrates you don’t know what you are doing.

The classic “low hanging fruit,” meaning something that is easily and quickly obtainable, and “touching base,” meaning to make contact to communicate with one another briefly, scored 23 percent of the respondents saying such language was maddening.

A whopping 90 percent of respondents feel some people use jargon to cover up their shortcomings, according to the Enreach survey.

Almost half of the respondents (46 percent) say their colleagues use these phrases to try and impress their bosses, while 43 percent find them annoying.

Mr. Duncan Ward of communications firm Enreach, which conducted the research, said: ‘At a time when we still may not be face to face with our colleagues, simple, clear communication is one of the most important things that we all need.’

More than a fifth (21 percent) of the 1,500 people polled say they would run a mile if they went to a job interview, and their potential employer kept using business jargon.

And 44 percent said if they had a dollar for every time their boss used office jargon, they would be rich.

But almost two-thirds (64 percent) confess they sometimes use the dreaded jargon themselves.

Mr. Ward added: ‘Our research shows that communicating effectively at work is vital, as so many of us haven’t got time to waste.

‘Business jargon is clearly making that difficult, with the results from this study demonstrating that phrases like ‘blue sky thinking’ are unhelpful and even off-putting and that people would prefer to understand more clearly what their colleagues mean.’

PUBLISHED: 19:22 EDT, 28 March 2022 | UPDATED: 04:04 EDT, 29 March 2022

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