How to avoid management speak


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”.