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How Annoying Are You?

How Annoying Are You?
23 May 2013 John Moore

At the end of the day, management-speak is what it is, whether or not it annoys co-workers 110 per cent of the time.

A survey of over 2,000 office managers by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) has concluded that management-speak is a ‘pointless irritation’. So the next time you are about to say, “Okay guys, going forward, I think we need to think outside of the box on this one and come up with a killer strategy”, stop and think who you might be irritating.

Around 64% of those surveyed complained of ‘management speak’ as one of the most irritating things about their workplace. This was closely followed by colleagues arriving late to meetings (65%) and gossip (60%): other major irritations included people’s choice of clothes and people refusing to take their turn to make tea or coffee.

The report found ‘the nightmare colleague’ commits a long list of crimes:

  • They arrive late in the mornings and for meetings
  • They take regular cigarette breaks
  • They come into work when they are ill and spread their germs
  • They gossip excessively about other workers and openly discuss confidential work matters
  • They bring their children into the office
  • They send an email, rather than talking to them, ‘despite sitting opposite’
  • They wear revealing outfits and flip flops
  • They use their mobile phone in the office
  • They speak unnecessarily loud when on the phone
  • They avoid their turn to make or buy the tea or coffee

As for the most annoying examples of management speak, here are the top ten most annoying phrases:

‘Let’s take it to the next level’ which translated means  – To make something better or to improve it

‘I’ll ping you an agenda’ which translated means  – “ I’ll send you an email”

‘Best practice’ which translated means – A good way of doing something

‘It’s a no-brainer’ which translated means –  This is a good idea

‘It’s a win-win situation’ which translated means  – It’s a really good idea

‘Low-hanging fruit’ which translated means – An easily-achievable goal

‘Flag up’ which translated means –  I am making you aware of something

‘It’s on my radar’ which translated means – I am aware of something

‘Touch base’ which translated means – Let’s talk

‘Reach out’ which translated means –  Let’s talk… more

So, to minimise your ‘personal annoyance metrics’, therefore facilitating the elimination of unnecessary negative impact on the working environment and your co-worker’s employment experience’, why not embrace these strategies and transform them into a coherent set of cogent actions’.

Top Tips for being a great team mate or manager:

  1. Avoid using ‘management speak’ – it ‘turn’s people off’, alienates them and is often confusing
  2. Treat people well, with respect and good manners
  3. Make sure you are on time for meetings – being late is disrespectful
  4. Consider how the noise you make affects your colleagues
  5. Think about and choose the best mode of communication: face-to-face is better than an email

Finally, avoid saying “HAVE A GOOD ONE!”

John Moore has over 20 years experience of training and developing Managers, Coaches, Consultants and businesses. As Managing Director of Exponential Training, John researches, speaks, blogs and writes about how to improve performance. He also designs and delivers engaging, fun and interactive learning programmes. John is a Fellow Chartered Manager and has worked with managers and organisations in over 20 different countries.


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