Common business jargon

Random Observation/Comment #342: In order to communicate effectively, one must speak and understand the same language. English taught in school is usually  not enough. Sometimes you need to know the right lingo and speak like your audience.

see lemons drink lemons

I met a fellow engineer who entered the corporate world, and he viewed the business meetings and emails with the same curiosity and humor as myself. Those who have advanced to higher positions are extremely talented in speaking eloquently and using interesting common business terms that relate to everyday life. He tweets @Jargondujour and the list of terms is extensive and hilarious.

Here is my own list and the reason I’d use them. I formed this list after a week of listening internal presentations and daily meetings:

  • When a meeting is going off course

    • “Let’s take this offline and continue with the agenda.”

    • “I’m happy to take a clean sheet of paper and talk to you about this.”

    • “Can you carve out some time for us to work together this afternoon.”

    • “Please put something in my calendar and I’ll be happy to discuss this with you in more detail.”

    • “Let’s touch base on this later this afternoon.”

  • When you’re unsure of the subject

    • “I work 30,000 feet nowadays, but let’s talk details.”

    • “Give me the broad strokes and we can refine the details later.”

  • When you want to work together with a group and do further review

    • “Let’s leverage that application’s infrastructure.”

    • “Let’s streamline the process so it’s more attractive”

  • When you try to justify your actions to someone beneath you

    • “I just don’t want you to get thrown under the bus.”

    • “Let’s handhold them for the first few weeks and then throw them in the deep end.”

    • “I just want to make sure we’re on the same page.”

  • When you want to convince someone to take on a new task

    • “This will give you good exposure to the vertical.”

  • When you want to offer help as a PM or BA even though you can’t solve the problem

    • “Let me know if you need me to escalate this issue.”

    • “Let me know how I can help you move the needle on this project.”

  • When you want to tell someone their task is going to be worked on, but not now. If you’re working on it now, you’d focus more on release dates

    • “I’ve added this feature to the book of work.”

  • When you want to respectfully decline working on a project

    • “Sorry, I wish I could pick up this project, but my plate is full.”

    • “I’ll be doing this on a best effort basis.

  • When you want to follow up without being too pushy (instead of saying ‘are you done yet?’)

    • “Have these issues been closed out?”

    • “Are there any outstanding items that need addressed?”

One does not necessarily need to memorize these terms, but it doesn’t hurt to use these words to politely agree or dodge questions. It’s beyond political correctness; these are just business colloquialisms.

~See Lemons Stay on the Same Page

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