Survey Finds Business Jargon is Unpopular:Are We on the same page?

Finally, someone has said it.  The following is from a brief report in the Guardian, in the UK. (My only question is; if so many people feel this way, why do they continue to speak like this? Management jargon is the refuge of the weak and untrustworthy manager, according to a report issued yesterday. The desire to cloak even the most mundane of business activities in obscure phrases does little to enhance the standing of the management industry and can leave bosses looking weak, according to a survey by Investors in People. People using such phrases as "blue-sky thinking", "the helicopter view" and "heads up" can lead to alienation and low morale in the office with the result that almost two-thirds of employees would prefer no jargon at work. The survey, carried out by YouGov to mark the 15th anniversary of Investors in People, a government-backed training initiative, found 37% of the 2,900 questioned thought jargon results in mistrust and encourages a feeling of inadequacy. While managers who exhorted staff to "get their ducks in a row" might be only mildly annoying to some, the report said four in 10 of those surveyed thought jargon created misunderstanding about roles and responsibilities. Nearly 40% of workers surveyed thought jargon betrayeed a lack of confidence, while one in five said people who uses it were untrustworthy or covering something up. Academics backed the findings. Susan Bassnett, pro-vice chancellor of the University of Warwick and a professor of literature, said much of what she heard at management meetings was nonsensical. "There are also phrases that disguise the real problems at hand," she said. "When they talk about encouraging presenteeism, they are really talking about tackling the problem of absenteeism." She said managers often used jargon to obscure what was really going on. Jargonbuster Blue-sky thinking: Made famous by John Birt. Supposed to be idealistic or visionary ideas. Get our ducks in a row: Must have arrangements efficiently ordered. Brain dump: Successor to debrief. Think outside the box: Allied to pushing the envelope. Don't limit your thinking to your job description. Joined-up thinking: Taking account of how things affect each other. Drilling down: Often painful. Involves getting more detail about a particular issue. Push the envelope: Improve performance by going beyond commonly accepted boundaries. The helicopter view: An overview. Low-hanging fruit: Easiest targets.
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