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  • Ivan Konermann

Dump the Buzzword Bingo

Updated: Apr 22



Dump the Buzzword Bingo and “Corporate Blah Blah” for language that people understand and that makes sense.


Recently I saw a post about the term “executive presence”, which was followed by the question “what does that even mean?”. I’m using that as an example of language that “sounds good”, though isn’t universally understood, and often isn’t well explained by people who use it.


Don’t get me wrong, shorthand can really help if done well. In the Army, we had acronyms for seemingly every task. And in typical Army fashion, jobs were laid out in incredible detail so people knew exactly what a “PMCS” was and how to do it to specification for a specific piece of equipment.


Meanwhile, “executive presence” could mean a bunch of things...being thoughtful in recommendations, taking your role and yourself seriously, facilitating difficult conversation, keeping a team on track. Here’s the catch: when a company uses poor descriptors and language like this, it’s really hard for others to know what to start doing, stop doing, or keep doing. Instead of using “corporate” language, talk about specific activities, behaviors, or communication tools.


If you get advice or feedback and it’s not clear, then it’s time to ask questions. This helps you be clear so you both know what’s expected and how to do it!

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