For some reason unknown to us mere mortals there is a whole society of managers out there who feel the urge to adopt strange buzz words and new speak phrases in a vain attempt to appear edgy and cool. In many situations your average boss will substitute any word he sees as negative or counter-productive with a so called buzz word but in most cases the opposite effect occurs and your manager will appear nothing more than uncool and out of touch. In fact when buzz words start flying around the office it is quite easy to mistake your boss for your mother telling you that your new sneakers are “very trendy”.
Anyone who has had a job of any description will no doubt know exactly what we are talking and this leads to the obvious question – Has anyone ever found such words and phrases empowering or the slightest bit of help with building confidence or motivation.
1 – Face Time
At first glance you can be forgiven for thinking your boss is requesting something perversely sexual or violent when he asks for some “face time” with you but thankfully there is nothing involving rubber and ice cream about to happen here.
Believe it or not all your boss wants here is to have you in the same room and talk to you face-to-face. This is a perfect example of management types with too much time on their hands and discovering it is possible to put two nouns together. Why can’t managers just say “I want to talk to you”?
2 – Skill Set
Once upon a time people used to have things known as qualifications or skills but that is now all something of the past. Today we have “skill sets” which we can only assume is a desperate attempt to make people appear as if they actually have a purpose in life. In a way any person who has a “skill set” does sound a touch more important than your average employee but at the end of the day we all know that this term has being created as a clever way of saying we can’t do something – “It is not that I cannot do this, it is just that it is outside my skill set”. We’ve all heard it before.
3 – Rocket Science
We are all guilty of trying to make ourselves sound more important than we actually are. There certainly is no shame in that but certain managerial types out there have different ideas. If ever you have a manager who wants to make your achievements in the work place appear mundane the phrase that will pop up is – “It’s not rocket science.”
The rocket science part is often replaced with terms such as “brain surgery”.
4 – Potentialise
To be honest we are not even sure if “potentialise” is even a real word but any there are plenty of managers in the world happy to use this bad boy phrase. There is every chance that some manager somewhere simply stuck a “-ise” on the end of the word “potential” to try and jazz things up a touch.
If you hear this word in sentence you are simply being told to do your job only you are being told to do it through the use of jazzed up words.
5 – Touch Base
This term is most certainly adopted from the American workplace and is a direct reference to the baseball phrase – “touch base.” The phrase is supposed to be a clever managerial term that means your boss wishes to get in touch with someone and catch up on work related subjects but to us it sounds more like he wants to take you to the men’s room and touch you up.
6 – Think Outside the Box
This phrase used to only be used in boardrooms and offices but nowadays it is by far one of the most over used phrases out there. It used to mean you were required to think up a way of doing something that had not already being thought of but due to over use it has very little meaning.
7 – Go Forward
“Go forward” appears to be one of the more recent terms introduced to the managerial dictionary. In today’s modern workplace we are always “going forward”. God knows which direction we were heading in years ago but at least we all know now which way we are meant to be heading.
8 – Robust
Any company in the world likes to think of itself as robust and that is why managers seem to have adopted the term and made it their own. Now everything is robust not just the company business plan or bank balance. Even the chairs in companies these days are robust and of course it goes without saying that each and every manager out there will pride themselves on their robust managerial style.
9 – Blue Sky Thinking
A term used to describe new ideas that are usually unfettered by the person having considered their practicalities. An extension of “thinking outside the box,” staff may be encouraged to “try some blue-sky thinking” if traditional answers to a problem are deemed unsatisfactory. This kind of task is best suited to mindlessly-optimistic, hopelessly-unpractical types.
10 – Ring Fence
Usually used to refer to money, ring-fencing is when a fund is treated as separate and is protected from being dipped into or lowered. Governments use the term a lot, but the corporate world also loves to “ring-fence” projects and resources that can only be accessed by certain people.