Business has its own pet language, doesn’t it?  Much like sports, there are some favorite clichés that are common speak in most office buildings.  Yahoo does a good job of chronicling some of the worst.  A couple examples:


Say what? This word has infiltrated nearly every cube and conference room in the country. The fault here can largely be placed on one seminal advice author. In Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, the No. 6 habit is Synergize. Of the habit, Covey writes, "To put it simply, synergy means two heads are better than one." Covey readers might recall getting the same advice in simpler terms several decades earlier from Sesame Street. Big Bird called it "cooperation."

I despise the word synergy.  It is an all-encompassing word for covering a lack of synthesis, in my opinion.  What I mean is that instead of sorting out the difficult aspect of synthesizing disparate concepts (a favorite move of managers), many managers simply cover the problem with some reference to synergy.

And here is one for which I am offended:

Drill Down

A phrase often wielded by superiors wanting a subject examined more closely. "Drill down to what?" asks Shut Up and Say Something author Karen Friedman. "The oil?"

Come on, that is a perfect business phrase.  We use it frequently in reference to interviewing, especially questioning.  Too often hiring managers ask an expected question, receive a pre-canned answer and then move on.  Ignoring the expected question piece, we always coach managers to drill down on the answer – go for specifics, follow up on their answer.

I’ll leave the rest o f the list for your enjoyment.

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