By Daniel Hunter

According to the latest data from a conference call specialist, entrepreneurs who depend upon clichéd business phrases and terminology are most likely to be alienated by their colleagues.

A staggering 79 per cent of UK professionals in SMEs admit to being unhappy working with those who depend on terms such as ‘blue sky thinking’ — which was revealed as the most irritating phrase heard in an office environment.

The poll which was conducted by Powwownow also suggested that approximately 38 per cent of those with a phone on their desk will think twice before answering if they’re likely to be bombarded with jargon. And 25 per cent of those questioned find buzzwords confusing and a general hindrance to effective communication.

“Collaborative meetings are often conducted under pressure, with limited time to achieve a certain goal. Our study showed that business jargon is most prevalent and unsurprisingly most unwelcome in this scenario over all others in the workplace," Simon Curry, CEO at Powwownow, said.

“Our findings revealed that 62 per cent of us join these meetings dreading the appearance of ‘blue sky thinking’ or ‘touch base.’ Although, interestingly, only 20 per cent of us worry about being inundated with these terms on a conference call.”

From a list of ten common business phrases, including ‘drill down,’ ‘touch base,’ ‘KPI’ and ‘going forward’ — 70 per cent of UK professionals admit to knowing the true meaning of only three or less. What’s more, the majority doubt that those using the terms even understand them.

Curry continued: “74 per cent of us believe those bandying around terms such as ‘buy in’ and ‘move the needle’ are unsure about their meaning. More than half of those asked believe it’s part of a bid to impress and a small contingent, prepared to offer up the benefit of the doubt, believe use of jargon today is mostly ironic.

“In the interests of efficient, easily understood lines of communication, it’s critical that the use of anachronistic terms, which are easily misconstrued or misunderstood are restrained. In our experience, they can have a direct impact on development, output and the strength of the team.”

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