In my continuing effort to stay on the very cusp of business meeting etiquette, I would like to introduce the reader (if the reader hasn’t already met) to the latest in business nomenclature. It is not so much a single buzzword like ‘paradigm’ or ‘leveraging’ or ‘ideation’ – all of which I’ve heard this week. No, this one joins the ranks of the horrible buzz phrases that you hear all the time. Some recent examples:
“Lots of moving parts”
“Drinking the Kool Aid”
I can’t swear that I’ve heard these this week, but I can pretty much guarantee that if you were to do a quick recap of every meeting I was in this week (God bless your soul) that these phrases would have popped up repeatedly.
Now there’s a new phrase, however, that has started to appear – and the funny thing is that when you HEAR the phrase that means nothing but GOOD THINGS ARE HAPPENING. Yet because of the way it is said you can’t even fully enjoy the meaning of the words, and instead focus on cringing on each word spoken as if you’d just accidentally eaten one of the pickles on a McDonald’s hamburger.
The phrase I’d like to add to the “Please Don’t Ever Say this…” business vocabulary is:
“I’ll give you back 15 minutes….”
To illustrate, assume you’re sitting in a meeting not listening to items that you couldn’t care less about. The meeting organizer and peppy attendees drone on and on about absolutely nothing that is of help to you, and then decide to end the meeting early. So the organizer, instead of just saying “Get the hell out of here…” has to prove his/her superiority by ‘giving’ you those 15 minutes back.
Here’s some thoughts.
- It’s not YOUR time, it’s mine.
- I’ll walk out/hang up when I damn well please.
- You don’t deserve CREDIT for ending the meeting early. You probably already extended it twice as long as it should have been anyway.
I will continue to be on the prowl for the best “Worst” phrases and keywords thrown about in meetings. I consider myself the Meeting Police and I’m sure everyone I attend meetings with treats me with the utmost respect because of that moniker. I’m protecting…. and I’m serving…. who?
You. The business meeting participant.
I bet you wish you could take back these 391 words.