Management speak is one of the biggest irritations for UK workers, according to the findings of new research released this week by the Institute of Leadership & Management. Phrases like “thinking outside the box” and “going forward” are so over-used they have become annoying. Commenting on the survey findings, Moira Throp, co-founder and director of employee communication specialists Like Minds, said: “We all fall into the trap of using words that mean nothing or mask our true meaning. It becomes a habit – not just for individuals but for companies as well – and as with any habit, you aren’t aware of it until someone else points it out. Clear, simple communication takes time and thought, and using jargon is often just a lazy short-hand,” she said. “There’s nothing new in this: as long ago as the seventeenth century, Blaise Pascal found it necessary to say ‘sorry’ for writing such a long letter because he did not have time to write a short one!”
The ILM’s survey, conducted during April 2013, covered over 2,000 office managers. Its findings showed that jargon is used in two-thirds of businesses across Britain, but nearly a quarter of respondents consider it to be a “pointless irritation”.