Make Your Words Count

Language is a living thing. New words are coined to reflect new realities, approaches and attitudes. People are fast to embrace new snappy verbiage—not only to express themselves better —but also because it seems to promise instant “coolness.”

Unfortunately, overuse can turn many “right-on-the-money” phrases into annoying conversation litter—as you can see in this article by Jacquelyn Smith/BusinessInsider (with my contribution), entitled, 18 Annoying Buzzwords You Need to Stop Using at Work. Many of these business-language clichés are frustrating to employees because they seem hollow and unoriginal (granted, we all can fall prey to them!)

Then add to the list Words that can Dumb us all Down at Work – with the caveat that much depends on the frequency, context, audience and environment.

Another aspect of our business lexicon is corporate buzzwords and/or phrases that can actually take on a different meaning, particularly with employees who feel undervalued, or just possess a sarcastic genome. What does it really mean when your exhausted colleague blurts, “I hope you enjoyed your vacation” or “Good luck!” And so much is dependent on delivery, as demonstrated in this classic, hilarious scene from The Office on YouTube.

For more on that, see in 75 Corporate Buzzwords and Phrases That Drive Us Crazy.

On a more serious note, having good language skills is crucial not only to effective communication and trust – but your career, too. More on that here: 18 Things You Should Never Say in a Salary Negotiation; 33 Things You Should Never Say to Your Boss—all at BusinessInsider.

Trust is the cornerstone of any sustainable business relationship, so it’s worthwhile to find original words – and ways – to be authentic and professional with your team and managers. For more on building trust in the workplace, I share some thoughts in this short video clip.