Undermine or distract from your message
Empty words are everywhere. They promise an attractive salary, tempt us with a flat hierarchy, or offer personalized customer experiences. These words are so vague and over-used, they’ve become meaningless. Empty words bore and annoy us. And the vagueness can feel calculated - like hiding because someone can’t or won’t be tangible. You want to help people connect with your message in a meaningful way? Be authentic. Be specific. Use numbers and vivid examples.
Doesn't resonate with
- People working under time constraints, multi-tasking, or managing with a shorter attention span
- People from diverse language backgrounds and people with different ways of processing language
- People whose first language isn't English
- People looking for a credible source of information to make up their mind about something
While empty words and generic expressions are frustrating, you may feel they’re mostly harmless. They’re not. They affect overall business success and the bottom line.
- Empty words limit your talent pipeline. Vagueness in job ads puts off qualified people who prefer tangibility and transparency. Why invest time in applying if a company isn’t upfront about the facts you need to make an informed decision?
- Tired clichés render your brand invisible. With generic messages out of the blah-blah dictionary of business, your marketing, advertising, and talent acquisition sound like everybody else. How can audiences see what makes you different?
- Foggy company values, vision, and mission leave people cold – or confused about their purpose. Working together toward shared milestones is challenging when the overall goal and purpose remain obscure. And corporate speak won't tell you how to get there.
- Picture this: How the language of leaders drives performance (Chad Murphy & Jonathan Clark)
- Deloitte Chief’s New Year Memo is a Classic in Demotivation (article) (Lucy Kellaway)
- Deloitte Chief’s New Year Memo is a Classic in Demotivation (podcast) (Lucy Kellaway)
- Annoying Business Jargon [2021 Study] (Max Woolf)
- The Impact of Using Many Jargon Words, While Communicating with the Organization Employees (Ngueviuta Patoko & Rashad Yazdanifard)