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Lynda Goldman's Business Buzzwords

AMERICAN STYLE The style of eating common in the US and Canada.

DO YOUR OWN THING Do whatever is important to you.

COVER FOR SOMEONE Lie to protect someone.

OUT OF THE RUNNING Not being considered for the job.

ARMED WITH (A PLAN) To bring your plan or suggestions with you to a meeting.

BOUNCED AROUND (ON THE PHONE) To be transferred from one person to another on the phone.

BUSINESS SPEAK Language that is overly technical.

CELL YELL Speaking too loudly on a cell phone.

BROWNIE POINTS. Imaginary social points awarded for something you’ve done to please someone.

PIGGYBACK. “To piggyback” means to add on to someone else’s idea. The term is frequently used in business meetings. Example: “I’d like to piggyback on Pat’s idea of...”

TO MAKE WAVES. “To make waves” means to argue or create conflict. Example: “Let’s not make waves about that issue. It’s not that important.”

JDI: JDI means “Just Do It.” A boss who doesn’t want to discuss a subject anymore might say: “End of discussion. This is a JDI. Get it done!”

GOOD TO GO: “Good to go” means a person, place or thing that’s ready. Example: “This proposal is good to go. Let’s send it to the client.”

BHAG: BHAG stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goal – a really big goal!

PUT A PIN IN IT: “Let’s put a pin in it” means to let the subject sit for a while, as if it were pinned on a board for the time being. – Sent by Gautam Nath

PARK IT: “Let’s park it” means the same thing: to put something aside for the moment, as if putting it in a parking lot. – Sent by Gautam Nath.

LAY OF THE LAND: The “lay of the land” means the current situation. Example: What’s the lay of the land in your department?

TRIANGULATE: To triangulate means to involve a third person or party. Example: “The contract looks good to me, but I’ll have to triangulate with Peter in Accounting before we can move forward.”

LEAVE BEHIND: This is information that you leave with a client, such as a brochure. Example: “When you visit Company ABC, make sure you really sell the product with the trade show leave behind.”

ROUND FILE: The round file means the garbage can. Example: “Put that brochure into the round file.”

TRUE NORTH True North is a business direction that leads to success. (A good buzzword for Canadians!) Example: “We’ve brought in some consultants to help steer us to True North.”

BITE THE BULLET If your boss tells you it’s time to bite the bullet, be prepared for something unpleasant.

GO-GETTER Someone with a lot of drive and energy who is always willing to give a little bit more to get the job done. If an employer states they want a “real go-getter” in a job posting or interview, prepare for some demanding expectations.

BIO BREAK. It used to be called a coffee break, but it’s now often called a bio break, which means a break for biological needs, such as getting food or drinks, or going to the restroom. Contributed by Gautam Nath from Environics.

HARD STOP. This means a time by which you have to leave the meeting e.g. ‘I have a hard stop at 2.00 p.m.’ Contributed by Gautam Nath from Environics.

COURAGE OF YOUR CONVICTIONS. To have the courage of your convictions means to act with confidence, according to your beliefs. In office-sepak, this usually means doing something that is difficult or challenging, often facing danger or fear to reach your goal. Contributed by Sajjad Kamal.

WIIFM. Stands for “What’s in it for me?” Pronounced “wifim”. It’s used to describe a presentation or sales pitch, when the speaker is reminded to consider the audience. Anyone listening to a sales person or a presentation is thinking, “That’s great, but what’s in it for me?” Meaning, “Why would I want this product or service?

TALK TURKEY. To talk turkey is to have a serious discussion. Example: “Come into my office and we’ll talk turkey.”

ACE YOUR PRESENTATION. To give the best presentation you can.

MISSION CRITICAL. This term comes from NASA’s space program, where the suc-cess of a program comes from certain mission critical tasks. In business, it means something that is very impor-tant to your business. For example: “This project is mis-sion-critical.”

MOVERS AND SHAKERS. Movers and shakers are the most significant people in a team, company or industry. They are the people who get things done or make things happen. Another term for this is “key players.” For example: Find the movers and shakers in your company. Get to know them. Learn the techniques that make them successful, because they have already learn-ed how to survive and thrive in your workplace.

MORPH. To change or transform smoothly into something new. For example: “My business seems to morph into something new every few years.”

WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD. A single, crucial moment that will influence your success. For example: “Our new product will be released next month. This is where the rubber meets the road, people!”

ABOVE BOARD. board is to be open and honest. Example: “I don’t think you are being totally above board with me.”

TRANSITIONING. To undergo a transition is to change something, or make a transition to something new. Example: ”We’re transitioning to a new payroll system next month.”

ACTIVE LISTENING. To focus attentively on what someone is saying.

LYNDA GOLDMAN is the author of You’re Hired... Now What? She has been an ESL instructor at Concordia University and has created sales and training material for several organizations in Canada

Have you come across a new buzzword? Send it to Lynda.Goldman @Bromgold.com and she will include it with your name attached.

Posted: Apr 30, 2011

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