Career Lessons from Weird Al: Banish Buzzwords in the Workplace

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of or seen some of Weird Al Yankovic’s new parody music videos. His “Mission Statement” video about corporate jargon is a must-see. I never thought I’d say it, but we can learn a valuable career lesson from Weird Al: Avoid using buzzwords in the workplace.

Accountemps recently surveyed human resources managers to find out which are the most annoying or overused buzzwords at work. “Dynamic,” “deep dive” and “leverage” were among the most widely cited words or phrases in the study. If you frequently use these words, or the other top buzzwords featured in the slideshow below, you might want to rethink your communications. Here are five tips to quell the corporate jargon and deliver a clear and concise message:

  1. "Circle back" with your point. Let your audience know up front the topic you’re addressing and why it’s important to them.
  2. Show "dynamic" interest. If you’re genuinely enthusiastic about a subject, people are likely to take note and want to hear more.
  3. "At the end of the day," verbal communication is a two-way street. You’ll build better rapport with others if you listen attentively.
  4. "Leverage" training. There are an array of business communications training options from which to choose – from educational seminars to online resources.
  5. "Employee engagement" does the trick. If buzzwords are widespread in your office, infuse some fun and friendly competition by creating a “buzzword jar.”  Whenever someone is caught being buzzwordy, he or she contributes a quarter to the jar. The proceeds can go toward a teambuilding event or other worthy cause.

Which workplace buzzword annoys you the most? Please share below.


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