If you’ve ever worked in an office or sat in a corporate meeting then you know how painful they can sometimes be, especially the double speak. You’re sitting around a table listening to and repeating terms like “cylo-busting,” “taking a deeper dive” and “let’s put a pin in that.” Sound familiar? Even if you’ve never used these terms you’ve likely heard them or wondered “Que carajo…” when you hear them coming out of someone’s mouth or wondered how you wound up stuck in the conversation to begin with. Here’s a quick guide to help you translate some of the more common corporate cube speak and what it really means.
“Let’s circle back to that.”
Translation: Although that topic is relevant to the conversation, it merits discussion later.
What It Really Means: I have no interest in letting you hijack my meeting with your personal agenda.
“We should take that offline.”
Translation: That issue is a separate discussion that should happen between the two parties it pertains to.
What It Really Means: Let’s not make this meeting longer by bringing up more details than necessary.
“I don’t have the bandwidth to take that on right now.”
Translation: I don’t have enough people, power or resources available to get this work done.
What It Really Means: I have other projects that are a priority so I’m not doing you any favors.
“We’re going to need all hands on deck for this one.”
Translation: Everyone needs to pitch in to get this project done.
What It Really Means: Even though this isn’t part of your duties, you’re now being required to get this work done.
“This conversation is really getting caught in the weeds.”
Translation: Bringing up the minute details of this particular issue is not relevant to everyone here.
What it really means: You’re sharing way too much information that no one wants to know.
“We’ve already jumped the shark with this client.”
Translation: We’ve already done everything we can and are getting little in return from this relationship.
What it really means: Having already gone above and beyond, the effort is no longer worth the reward.
“Now I’ve got egg on my face.”
Translation: Thanks to your falsehoods, I have been made to look like foolish or dishonest.
What it really means: Why are you trying to play me in front of everyone here?
“It is what it is.” Translation: This is a less than ideal situation but we have to figure out how to work through it.
What it really means: Let’s ignore the mistake that I’ve made and fix it so I don’t have to admit that I messed up.
Now that you can read between the lines, make sure to use your jargon wisely lest you become the topic of conversation at your next meeting.