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Last Updated: Monday, 6 November 2006, 04:16 GMT
Workplace jargon 'isolates staff'
Hot air balloon in a blue sky
Are bosses who talk of "blue sky thinking" just full of hot air?
Needless jargon in the workplace is baffling employees and widening the divide between management and staff, a survey suggests.

Investors in People said that the proliferation of phrases such as "blue-sky thinking" and "brain dump" was damaging to British industry.

About a third of the 3,000 workers polled said they felt inadequate when wordy terms were needlessly used.

Others believed bosses were being untrustworthy, or hiding something.

Blue-sky thinking: Idealistic or visionary ideas - not always with practical application
Get our ducks in a row: Have arrangements efficiently ordered
Brain dump: To tell everything you know about a particular topic
Think outside the box: Don't limit your thinking to within your job description; be creative
Joined-up thinking: Taking into account how things affect each other - not looking at something in isolation
Drilling down: Getting more detail about a particular issue
Push the envelope: Improve performance by going beyond commonly accepted boundaries
The helicopter view: An overview
Low-hanging fruit: The easiest targets

'Lead by example'

Many managers used jargon without considering the impact it has on staff said Nicola Clark, a director at Investors in People, which works with firms to boost their performance.

"Bosses need to lead by example, ditch needless jargon and concentrate on communicating clearly with their employees," she added.

"If used inappropriately, jargon can be an obstacle to understanding, which ultimately can impact on an individual's performance and an organisation's productivity."

A survey of Scottish workers found that more than half were fed up with bosses using management jargon with two-thirds preferring no jargon at all in the workplace.

"Communication is one of the hardest things to get right in any organisation," said Peter Russian, chief executive of Investors in People Scotland.

"Using management jargon doesn't make you a good manager.

"The most effective bosses recognise that one of the keys to engaging, motivating and enthusing people is to communicate in a way which everyone can easily understand."

Employees talk about jargon in their workplace

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