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2016’s Most Hated Business Phrases

We’ve all heard them and, at one point or another, probably used them as well

Buzzwords are the language of the office and despite their occasional helpfulness; they’re getting on the nerves of millions of office workers.

To find out which terms are most hated by the UK’s small business owners and workers, Bizdaq asked 500 of their customers to tell us which terms they hated the most.

Here are the ten most common terms, along with their sometimes confusing definitions.

10. Ideate/Ideation

To ideate is to come up with new concepts or ideas, with the term being used as a replacement for “brainstorm”. This term was disliked most for being unnecessarily complicated and “borderline pretentious”.

9. “The Uber For…

” The almost overnight success of Uber – the mobile taxi app – has led to a series of copycat businesses looking to cash in on the demand for ordering products or services online which are then fulfilled offline.

8. Low Hanging Fruit

Low hanging fruit, also known as a quick win, refers to “the most easily achieved of a set of tasks, measures or goals”. Despite the tasty connotations, the term has left a sour taste in many employees’ mouths due to its overuse.

7. Mission Critical

Mission critical is used to describe something that is vital to the functioning of a business. Whilst it’s perfectly fine to use the term to describe something which actually is critical to the business, our respondents say it’s all too often it’s being used to describe everyday, mundane tasks/jobs by managers.

6. The Internet of Things

As the worldwide web grows, so does the amount of internet-connected technology. This increased connectivity is what the Internet of Things is – “a proposed development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity”. Don’t worry if this sounds complicated to you – so many people disliked the term for its complication that it was the 6th most hated business term given by respondents.

5. Growth Hacker

Growth hacker, or growth hacking, is a term that gets thrown around a lot – so much so, that it’s the fifth most disliked term. To growth hack is to rapidly experiment in order to identify the most effective way to grow a business. While there’s nothing wrong with trying to grow rapidly, the term has been overused in marketing emails and blog posts, leading it to be disliked by those in small businesses.

4. Synergy

Synergy is better defined as teamwork or cooperation – both words which would more than suffice in any situation. Terms synergy (and its friend “synergise”) are becoming commonplace among managers, much to the annoyance of workers.

3. Deep Dive

To take a deep dive into a challenge is to “rapidly immerse a group or team into a situation for problem solving or idea creation”. Our respondents disliked the term enough (citing managers thinking that they would be able to quickly identify any issue using this term) that it was the third most hated term.

2. Leverage

To leverage something in business is to make a situation work to your advantage – for example “we’re leveraging our social media to increase sales”. Whilst it might be easily understood for those “in the know”, the word is often confusing – especially to lower-level employees. The ambiguity and confusion this term causes made it the second most hated term of 2016.

1. Mumpreneur

The most hated business term of 2016? Mumpreneur. The term is used to describe a woman who both runs a business and looks after her children. Not only does the term have sexist connotations (there is no male equivalent) but it implies that a woman who both runs a business and has children should be classified differently to any other kind of entrepreneur.

These reasons are what put it as the most hated business term of 2016.

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