At Work

Best and Worst Business Jargon

In every workplace there are buzz words and lingo that identify employees as insiders. There’s also a lot of business jargon that adds nothing but confusion to a conversation. Usually, if you squeeze more than a couple buzz words into one sentence, the meaning will be lost to all but the most fluent business-ese speakers. Not all jargon is bad though. It can serve as shorthand for complicated ideas or unite a group through a common language.

Some of my favorites business speak is:
Bottom line – This one’s been around so long that it doesn’t feel like jargon anymore.
Brainstorm – Again, it works because most everyone knows what this means. Also, I like the mental picture of little clouds and lightening bolts coming from my co-workers’ heads.

But, I’d be happy to never hear these again:
Synergize – This just seems like something you should do to batteries not people.
Strategic planning – Shouldn’t all planning be strategic?
Mindshare – This euphemism for generating ideas in a group reminds me of the scene in the movie The Matrix where you see all the people lying in chambers connected to the Matrix by a bunch of wires.

What business lingo do people use at your work? Does it drive you crazy, or do you think it improves communication?

Money and Happiness

In his book, Stumbling on Happiness, Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert argues that having money (beyond about $40,000 a year) doesn’t increase our happiness. But, most people strive for raises, promotions, bonuses and all that goes with financial success. If his research is correct and more money won’t increase happiness, then why is money so important to most people?

In your job, how much money do you think it would take for you to feel satisfied? Or if it’s not money, what do you think would bring you the most contentment at work? How does your job tie in with achieving happiness in your life?

Oops – I Accidentally Forwarded an Insulting E-mail to My Boss!

What do you do when you blow it big time at work? E-mail’s the easiest way to inadvertently offend dozens with the click of your mouse. Usually damage control from workplace gaffes involves apologizing and then lying low for a few days. Other times, you have to pay for the mistake in a more substantial way (forking out some money, getting a write-up, etc.)

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you at work, and how did you deal with it?