Business English: Let’s ban Management Speak
Read the text about banning management speak. Some management speak phrases are highlighted and explained below. Don’t forget to answer the discussion questions that appear after the vocabulary glossary.
We all know people who use ‘management speak’ and many of us even use it ourselves. It has become part of everyday business life here in the UK. Nevertheless, there are some phrases that really annoy members of staff. Let’s take a look at some of the main offenders:
Let’s touch base at the end of the week
This sounds like it’s about baseball but actually it’s an invitation to have a catch-up conversation or meeting. Modern managers even say “let’s touch base offline” which refers to a F2F meeting as opposed to a virtual meeting.
Where once we used to ‘think outside the box’, now we utilise ‘360-degree thinking’. It doesn’t actually refer to turning round in a circle but to taking a wider perspective into consideration. For instance, looking at customers past, present and future behaviour.
We used to get asked to give 100% but now it has increased by 10. Although this is numerically impossible it implies that we should give an extra something or ‘go the extra mile’ as some managers say. This has also led to 120%, 200% and so on.
The strategic staircase
Even if you take the lift to your office you can’t avoid the strategic staircase. In fact, if you want a pay raise, a promotion or just want to work your way up, this is how you do it. The strategic part refers to your own method whether it be by hard work or making contacts.
According to management gurus we no longer talk or converse with each other in companies now. Instead we conversate and so you may hear people say that they have been “conversating all day”.
When managers and staff need some new ideas they now take showers together. These ‘idea showers’ are what we used to refer to as brainstorming and don’t actually involve any water. They are an opportunity to come up with and toss around quick ideas about a specific issue or problem.
Management speak phrases
- Everyday business life
- Average working days in companies
- Main offenders
- The prime culprits
- A catch-up conversation
- When someone needs to find out what has been happening while they were away
- F2F meeting
- A physical meeting (face-to-face)
- A virtual meeting
- A meeting online using web cameras
- Think outside the box
- To solve a problem in a creative way
- Go the extra mile
- To do more than is required
- To work your way up
- To advance in your career
- Management gurus
- Famous management leaders/teachers
- To come up with sthg
- To create something e.g. an idea
- To toss sthg around
- To share and discuss
- What is your opinion about ‘management speak’?
- Which phrases do you dislike? Why?
- What other ‘management speak’ phrases do you know?