If you work in an office, I’m sure you’ve heard some business jargon or you’ve received an email that uses it. Sorry, I mean that someone decided to touch base by reaching out, probably getting their ducks in a row. Or maybe you’re a guru so that wanted to leverage your knowledge.
It happens, it can slip into your vocabulary and I know I’ve been guilty of using some of these terms in the past. However, Jennifer Chatman, management professor at the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business says, “Jargon masks real meaning. People use it as a substitute for thinking hard and clearly about their goals and the direction that they want to give others.”
In the spirit of poking fun at the jargon that has slipped into the language of office workers, here’s some business jargon bingo cards that you can print off and use for your own amusement. I recommend printing them off at 50% of the regular size if you want a nice little bingo game that won’t take up your entire cubicle.
Go on and enjoy a friendly game of bingo with your favourite colleagues!
>> Download the .pdf here! << As for the words used in the game? Find out what they mean below. Actionable. Anything that you can take action on. Actionable items sounds like a fancy way of saying to-do list.
At the end of the day. At the end of the day, the person who used this term wants you to know that they have a deep understanding about what is important.
Best practice. A method that will achieve superior results and is used as a benchmark.
Buy-in. To get approval and agreement on a particular idea.
Circle back. Revisit something later.
Drill down. To thoroughly investigate and closely examine.
Ducks in a row. Making a plan and getting organized.
Empower. When someone higher up gets you to do an important task although you are not fully responsible or fully in charge of it.
Full service. Should only apply to gas stations. You don’t do everything, this expression doesn’t apply.
Game changer. A fundamental shift.
Granular Excessive detail.
Guru. I don’t know what is worse: calling someone who is an expert at something a guru, a ninja, or a rock star.
Hit the ground running. To be ready to work hard immediately.
Innovate. To introduce something new for the first time.
It is what it is. Exactly. (This doesn’t even deserve an explanation.)
Leverage. Used to describe how to manipulate or control a situation for your benefit.
Low hanging fruit. For the people who don’t want to go for the fruit at the top of the tree, there’s the low hanging fruit. It’s easy, it’s accessible, and this term needs to go.
On the same page. I hope you all share the same view that we need to be on the same page about abolishing these terms.
Outside of the box. Be creative, think outside the box. This term is so uncreative that it’s still “in the box.”
Paradigm shift. A big change.
Proper channels. To work through the correct people to get something done.
Push the envelope. The office jargon version of being edgy and creative.
Reach out. A weird way to suggest setting up a meeting or referring to contacting someone.
Reinvent the wheel. Avoid hard work by taking the solution from elsewhere.
Resonate. For your idea/product/service/whatever to appeal to someone on a deep level.
Run it up the flagpole. To find out what other people think of an idea.
Scalable. When the work to create something is mostly in the beginning phase but it takes little effort to output more. For example, software is scalable because it takes a lot of effort to develop but it’s easy to send out copies and distribute.
Silo. An employee’s set of responsibilities and comfort zone.
Synergy. The author of 7 Habits of Highly Successful People is likely the biggest to blame for this. Stephen Covey writes, “To put it simply, synergy means two heads are better than one.” It’s a buzzword for teamwork and cooperation.
Take offline. A way of putting off discussing something right now. Take it offline and put it on the backburner for later.
The bottom line. The point, or the bottom line, is this.
Touch base. To contact someone or revisit a topic with someone later.
Value add. “Value add” describes some extra feature that is added to a product that supposedly has no extra cost for the customer.
Win-win. A term used to help convince someone that something is mutually beneficial. (It usually isn’t, but it feels reassuring to both parties to make this claim.)
Window of opportunity. The amount of time there is to “take action.”
If you liked this, check out these posts:
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- A print ad that provides you with coffee for two
Brittany Giles is the Social Media Specialist at The Printing House