It's all just so complicated

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a weird conversation at work and wondered how you got there?  Could it have been caused by colleagues talking at cross purposes?

The job and recruitment site, Reed, has again published its list of the 10 most annoying phrases used in the workplace and, as usual, it applies to all kinds of organisations.  And the winner is ….. ‘Can I borrow you for a sec’, with a massive 41% of the sample believing it is the most overused, irritating and frustrating phrase heard in the workplace.  You may or may not agree with their conclusions.  

While you are sure to find your own personal favourites among the list, they raise another important problem - the overuse of jargon and the misunderstandings that can occur when we assume or pretend to know what they actually mean.  This is a perennial problem and shows no sign of going away any time soon.  The survey tells us it is now even further complicated by the use of online terms creeping into the real world.  Not a happy prospect.  


The dreaded acronym - it can easily confuse

Have you ever had one of those days when just about everything you touched or came to your attention was bigger, more complicated, more difficult than it, at first, appeared? Someone asks an innocent question or an email arrives and your first answer needs qualifying in some way and then that answer triggers another train of thought and so it goes until you wish you hadn’t answered the phone or opened the email in the first place! At  the close of just such a day a while ago, it occurred to me that at the root of this type of problem we often find the issue of implied, implicit or assumed understanding.  If your understanding is not clear in the early stages of the conversation or transaction then you will labour under the misunderstanding for quite a while, usually until someone realises that you have been talking at cross-purposes.

Read More