In a survey (yes, someone actually studied this) of over 1,000 professionals, GetResponse set out to discover the most hated buzzwords and “business-speak” we encounter routinely.
The results are synergistic, and offer the biggest bang for your buck. Like any survey, it’s a value-added proposition, and the GetResponse crew are total badass rockstars who crushed it with amazing synergy for doing the study... but we’ll circle back on that.
As per our previous article (this backlink is just a friendly reminder that we also loathe buzzwords), we know buzzwords are hated. Because they suck. Maybe it’s my overly-analytical tech professional side, but nobody is a ninja. Also, if reality TV has taught us anything, it’s that rockstars are often dirty and not the brightest bulbs – so why would you want to be one of them?!
The most-hated term for “working harder” is interestingly complex. GetResponse broke their findings out regionally, which causes some fuzziness with results. Overall, the most hated term is: “We want you to take your career to the next level,” which, I mean, screw you, bosses, the “next level” is more money, so pay up!
Second on that list: “We’re asking for 110 percent.” And if your boss ever says that to you, we advocate and support you hitting them back with a chart describing that you already give 100 percent, and 110 percent means you should receive a 10 percent raise.
“Biggest bang for the buck” and “value-added” were the most-hated terms for project performance. “Badass,” “rockstar,” and “ninja” scored highest for hated terms when describing ideal candidates for a job. The most “aggressive” email lines are “as per my last email” (we can all read, Karen, calm down), and “just a friendly reminder” (we mean it: calm down, Karen, ugh).
As for the most hated term overall... it’s “synergy.” I happen to like that word, but it’s definitely overused, and let’s all agree to hate it forever. “Teamwork,” “touch base,” “raising the bar,” and “think outside the box” round out the top five most-hated buzzwords in business.
Some of the phrases we hate are fine. Synergy, again, is a perfectly okay word. A term such as “drink the Kool Aid” is insensitive, but ultimately not bad. Some, like “crush it,” actually do suck and should never be used. Really, these terms and phrases are hated because they’re overused, so don't overuse them! Simple.