Smartest gal in the room


Is there anything more awkward than trying to end a conference call?

The never-ending goodbyes always remind me of old-school AIM convos, where you spent roughly a calendar year telling your pals you loved them like a sister and would talk to them later and okbye4now. Or whatever we said back then.

The point is, conference call sign-offs can drag out through the rest of the millenium.

I think it has something to do with the lack of visual clues — no one can tell when Person A is looking to wrap things up because they can’t see them shutting their laptop and making eyes at the door. But I also blame corporate jargon.

Anyone who has ever worked in an office knows what I mean when I say that. God HELP you if you’ve worked in a tech or media office. Corporate jargon is like the social media of work-speak: It’s slowly depriving us of meaning and, let’s face it, humanity.

Here are a few examples of things you can say at almost ANY point of a meeting if you don’t know the answer to the question — without looking like an idiot. Don’t thank me; thank corporate jargon.

1. Let’s circle back on that offline.
2. I think that’s important to discuss, but I’d like to focus on the big picture.
3. We’ll regroup on that internally and get back to you.
4. Do the engagement metrics support that?
5. What can we do to replicate our past successes?

Just kidding about the last one. Mostly.

The really scary thing is that sometimes I hear these phrases in meetings, and I realize that I’m the one who said them. *shudder*

Do my fellow pencil-pushers hear me on this? Share YOUR favorite jargon-y phrase in a comment below.

8 thoughts on “Smartest gal in the room

  1. – I’ll add that to my action items
    – Let’s run it up the chain
    – Thanks for the feedback

    blah blah blah!

  2. – “you hit the nail on the head there…i mean, it is what it is…”
    – “I think we would benefit from taking a step back for a moment…”
    – *writes continuously on notepad* “Excellent question, let me just get some clarification – I want to make sure we are all singing the same tune…”
    – “I’ll follow up…”
    – “I’m cautiously optimistic…”
    – “can you go back a slide?” *writes down something extra* “perfect, thanks!”

  3. SO glad I’m not the only one suffering from “corporate jargon”. It’s like nails on a chalkboard, truly.

  4. HA. I deal with this on a daily basis, great post. Some other gems I’ve heard:

    -Are we comparing apples to apples?
    -Can you validate the language so it resonates? (Uh, wut?)
    -That’s not really best practice, so I think we should consider a different strategy.
    -Let’s get ahead of the ball, really be proactive.
    -It needs some fine-tuning before distribution.

    And working in marketing/communications, my all-time conf call fav is:
    “I JUST THINK WE NEED A COMMUNICATION FOR THIS.” Face palm. Vaguest request ever.

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