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We've all been in a meeting where the conversation would make us all winners in a game of corporate buzzword bingo. Word choice and clear communication are critical to team culture. That's why in 2018, I'm banning these five business buzzwords from my meetings:

 

1. Think Outside the Box

My team celebrates innovative thinking and always pushing past expectations. But, we don't call our thinking “outside of the box.” Thinking about innovation and transformation isn't a suggestion — it's what we do everyday. So why, almost 50 years later, are we describing our innovative thinking with a phrase first coined in 1969? Our goals as a team remain the same: to innovate every day. However, we won't be thinking outside the box because we left that territory a long time ago. Take the Innovation Basics Trail to learn more about how to promote innovative thinking on your team this year.

 

2. Give 110%

As a manager and leader, it is important to me that my team is operating at its best. But I never ask them for 110%. Expecting 110% your team's effort and time is a great way to ensure burnout and low employee satisfaction. My team culture matters, and I know we all will be more present, productive, and excited if we can bring their whole selves to work. Work-life integration is key to our team culture, as well as the culture of our Ohana.

 

3. Take it Offline

Trust and transparency are two critical aspects of team culture. I'm banning take it offline this year because the phrase discourages transparency. All hands meetings might not be the best time to get into the nitty gritty about specific projects, but the phrase “take it offline” implies that there is information being shared that the team should not be hearing. Instead, I'm asking my team to use Chatter and Quip to collaborate when we can't get to all the details at our team meetings.

 

4. Knowledge Transfer

Knowledge transfers are information overload. Instead of unloading information at one point in time, I'm encouraging my team to learn and grow every day. Learning should be fun-look at Trailhead! Knowledge transfers are also one-sided: one subject matter expert shares information with another. I'm banning knowledge transfer because I want my team to collaborate and grow together.

 

5. Synergy

Synergy is the buzzword to rule all buzzwords and no list of buzzwords to ban is complete without it! The definition of synergy fits within our team culture. But as my team emphasizes clear communication and stresses the importance of word choice, I'm leaving synergy, the poster-child for the business buzzword dictionary, in 2017.

What words are you banning from meetings this year? Let me know on twitter at.@jcdom