box.jpgReading business books, listening to leadership gurus, and even perusing the help wanted ads lately is like a hellish trip down jargon lane.

One of my least favorites is “critical thinker.” Everyone wants one of those it seems, even if you’re applying for a job in customer service, or as a registered nurse. And job postings including everyone from accounting clerks to Aflac Insurance sales people have to “think outside the box” these days.

There’s so much of this corporate lingo going around employees would like to annihilate them all. Which are most hated?

CareerBuilder asked more than 5,000 workers — “What corporate jargon would you like to eliminate altogether?”

And here’s how the numbers break down:


Outside the Box (31%)

Low-hanging fruit (24%)

Synergy (23%)

Loop me in (22%)

Best of breed (19%)

Incentivize (19%)

Mission-critical (19 %)

Bring to the table (18%)

Value-add (17%)

Elevator pitch (16%)

Actionable Items (15%)

Proactive (15%)

Circle back (13%)

Bandwith (13%)

High Level (10%)

Learnings (9%)

Next Steps (6%)

OK, which one do you hate most? Or share one that may not be on the list.

The one I hate is critical thinker, as I mentioned above. That said, I’m thinking that Aflac duck may indeed be one. But Gilbert Godfrey, who was Aflac’s pitch man until he got fired for joking about the tsunami, probably isn’t. He does think outside the box though.


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