Business Speak, part 1

As everywhere people in organizations tend to make up expressions and terms in order to sound more important and serious.  In America, and here I am especially referring to Silicon Valley high tech companies – have pushed this habit to new heights.  Many perfectly fine, accurate words have been replaced by big phrases which are a lot of air and little substance.  A few examples:

If I wanted somebody’s input or feedback I used to say “I’ll talk to her” now one says “I will reach out to her”.

Employee 1: “We should meet tomorrow and discuss details.  We also need to include Anne, George, and Freddie in this meeting.”

Employee 2: “I will reach out to them and see when they are available.”

The kimono still closed! © Brenda Bailey |

Before, when a decision or an agreement was reached or one left a meeting with a bunch of task lists one went and informed those, who weren’t in on the decision or the meeting.  Now however that seems a tad trivial, and therefore one doesn’t merely inform or talk, no one socializes an idea.

Boss: “okay, so we move the deadline forward by three weeks.  Please go and socialize this plan with the teams.”

In a world of political correctness and formulaic business speak there comes a time when one needs to speak openly and frankly.  Instead of having a meeting, like in the olden days, these days one has “open kimono sessions”.  The term is self-explanatory: all the facts get laid out and one has an honest discussion.


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