The 4 Business Buzzwords You Should Stop Using Immediately

The 4 Business Buzzwords You Should Stop Using Immediately

Source: This article was originally published on CNBC.
Written by: Courtney Connley, CNBC Make It

When discussing upcoming meetings, complicated projects or even a workplace conflict, it’s easy to fall back on well-worn phrases to get your point across.

This indirect and confusing language can easily do more harm than good. Business jargon is pretty much meaningless. I mean, ‘shifting paradigm’—really?

Here are four business buzzwords that you should strip from your vocabulary today:


“Let’s take this offline”

Not all workplace conversations will be friendly. But regardless of whether or not you agree with your colleagues, you should never resort to the phrase, “Let’s take this offline.”

Using this business jargon sends a message that says, “We’ve reached an impasse and things are getting awkward, so I’m going to have a private meeting with a smaller group of people later to get what I want.”

Instead, you should push through the challenging conversation and address whatever issue is taking place right in that moment.


“Empower” and “Ownership”

“Empower” and “ownership” are two buzzwords that have a “super high BS factor.” You should never use the words together in a sentence like, “I’m empowering you to take ownership of this project.”

Instead, be more direct, and say something along the lines of, “I am giving you the authority to run this project, and I will hold you responsible for its results.”

Once you say this, the key is to actually hold that person accountable.


Most of us have heard someone toss this one around, as in, “That’s a great idea, but we just don’t have the bandwidth for it right now.”

This is one of my least favorite buzzwords, because it’s usually used to gloss over your real reason for saying ‘no.’ Rather than beating around the bush, you should be honest about why something can’t take place and simply say some version of:

  • “That idea doesn’t fit our strategy.”
  • “We don’t have the money.”
  • “Our competitors already do that better than we do.”

Regardless of how bad the truth hurts, everyone prefers to hear it.

I could go on and on, because, honestly, all buzzwords are bad. Fight like crazy to banish them from your vocabulary, and you might be surprised how truly empowered you become.

Suzy Welch is the co-founder of the Jack Welch Management Institute and a noted business journalist, TV commentator, and public speaker. Through its online MBA program, the Jack Welch Management Institute transforms the lives of its students by providing them with the tools to become better leaders, build great teams, and help their organizations win.

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