Anybody who has worked in a business environment would have come across at least a few business buzzwords. Initially these words may seem innocuous, but the more they are heard and used, the more cliché they become and they soon lose their impact. Buzzwords can even be detrimental to business communication, because the very worst ones can lead to a perceived lack of credibility.

Although it’s unfair to judge the intelligence, ability, or competence of people based solely off of a few trending words that they use, the reality is that it does happen in the business world. If you want to cut out your usage of the very worst buzzwords in business, then you’ll need to start by knowing what they are.


Dive Deeper

The meaning behind this phrase is powerful and critical for business. However, much is lost when the concept is lazily watered down to “Dive Deeper.” If there’s a need to look within a process, concept, or problem, then this needs to be communicated explicitly and effectively. Asking someone to “Dive Deeper” doesn’t provide any clear guidance of what you are looking for and what you want the outcome to be. Articulate your needs, and you’ll get better results.


All Hands on Deck

When looking to motivate a team, there are few buzzwords as clichéd or meaningless as “All Hands on Deck.” Sure, people will get the message, but it sounds incredibly outdated and is so overused that people are more likely to respond negatively. If you need to motivate the team then build confidence and rapport, so that you are trusted and respected in your organization. When you need a strong push in a time of crisis or simply to meet a deadline, then explaining your needs succinctly will be more than enough.


Paradigm Shift

This phrase is not in itself a poor choice of words, but it has become a meaningless buzzword due to the fact that it is often used incorrectly. A “Paradigm Shift” initially related to a revolution in thought or process within a scientific context. Today, it can relate to any revolutionary thought that changes the way we understand, perform, or conceptualize things. Calling every small change in business a “Paradigm Shift” not only diminishes the meaning of the word, but it can make you appear self-important or out of touch with reality.


Customer Centric

Businesses need to be “Customer Centric”; that is a fact. What business leaders should not be doing is driving the buzzword home with every meeting, presentation, or memo that is passed around an organization. If a company is not “Customer Centric” then there’s something very wrong with the culture, organization, or leadership. Stop using the word excessively and instead make it something fundamental that doesn’t need to be constantly explained.



There’s nothing wrong with innovative technology and ideas. They drive business forward and it’s well documented that a failure to innovate can destroy a company. Even so, the constant overuse of the buzzword “Next-Gen” is not a way to get teams, investors, or customers excited about a product or service. If something is new, better, and innovative, then it should be marketed on its strengths. Calling it “Next-Gen” states the obvious and diminishes the ability to sell something for what it truly is.

Getting out of the habit of using business buzzwords and phrases doesn’t mean that they need to be removed from your vocabulary completely. The key point here is that there are often better ways to say things, and communicating with specific concepts, requests, and questions, is much more helpful and conducive to business success.