Be part of the corporate family – Part 2 – talk the talk


So my second tip on how to get ahead at work and fit in is talk the talk.

Honestly I hate corporate buzzwords and acronyms. At best they are repetitive and uninspired. At worst they are confusing and meaningless. I believe in speaking plain english that everyone can understand. My company’s latest buzzword is tiger team and I am still not 100% sure what that means.

But here’s the thing.. many corporate offices love buzzwords – its part of the culture and by using them you fit in. So using them makes you appear like you are more part of the team and know what you are talking about.

Each company has frequently used buzzwords and acronyms. Many will be common across varied business types (examples below) but some buzzwords and many acronyms will be unique to your specific company. In addition buzzwords come and go in popularity so its important to listen to your colleagues and bosses and  learn the latest buzzwords, jargon and acronyms and use them in your conversations – especially in presentations!  People will think you are more professional – even if they don’t understand you!

Sample buzzwords and phrases to listen for and “utilize” frequently in every conversation.. in no particular order-

  • Leverage
  • Learnings (honestly ….. this isnt even a word! LOL)
  • ROI (return on investment)
  • Out of the box/ think outside the box
  • Integrate
  • Give a shout out to
  • Reach out to..
  • Action it
  • Touch base
  • Stakeholder
  • Net it out
  • Proactive
  • In alignment
  • Ballpark figure
  • At the end of the day
  • Win-win
  • Holistic
  • Bandwidth
  • Best practices
  • Circle back with
  • Bring to the table
  • Core competency
  • Strategy /strategize
  • Reinvent the wheel
  • Understand the impact
  • Low hanging fruit
  • On the same page
  • Implementing

So although I say use them in every conversation, don’t go overboard. I have one colleague who basically strings buzzwords together with a few “ands” and “buts” and no actual content! For example..

“How are you today Darrell?”

“I am looking to  implement the outcomes of the recent win-win situation and leverage the low hanging fruit to help bring a core competency to the table. Once I understand the impact I can ensure we are on the same page and don’t reinvent the wheel.”

?huh …What?!


2 thoughts on “Be part of the corporate family – Part 2 – talk the talk

  1. I think you’d really enjoy a book called, “Where in the OM Am I?” by Sara DiVello. Here’s an excerpt spoken by the protagonist about a colleague impassioned by buzz words: “Alright guys, let’s step up to the plate and whiteboard it. The pipeline’s looking strong; performance is up. All wins, guys, all wins…..” and it goes on and on. I was rolling over in hysterics.


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